Coal Furnace Big Enough for 20,000 Sq Ft

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
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CoalSeeker
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Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 2:37 pm

I've been searching through the posts here to find some information on "mid-sized" coal furnaces. I have a 20,000 sq ft warehouse in Portland ME that is costing me a fortune to heat with natural gas. Looking online I have found tons of hits for house sized coal furnaces, and quite a few for massive industrial boilers, but I'm having trouble finding information on mid-sized coal furnaces. Does anyone have any suggestions as to manufacturers that serve this niche market? Thanks in advance.

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Richard S.
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Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 2:44 pm

Keystoker has on their site up to 1.1 million BTU's for boilers on special order. It's on the bottom of the page:
**Broken Link(s) Removed**They also have them listed as high as 580,000 BTU's stock, personally I'd run them in tandem or triple or whatever you need. If one breaks... you still have some heat.

You may want to consider simply calling a few of the stoker manufacturers, these are not huge industries. most are smaller companies that have been around for ages. They may not offer them for sale but it's entirely possible they can fill an order like that if the price is right.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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Matthaus
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite
Location: Wilkes Barre, PA

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 3:58 pm

Welcome CS, if your present system uses individual gas units that are ceiling mounted you could mount fan coil units near them and install a dual boiler system to feed them all. What is the total btus of capacity for your current heating system?

As Richard said a couple or three units will provide some matter of redundancy and will probably pay for themselves in a couple years. A separate attached boiler room would provide a place for coal storage and house the units in one place for ease of operation. Sitting down with each of the manufacturers and getting your requirements on the table would provide you with an idea of the possible solutions within their existing product line. I have a feeling one custom larger size unit is going to be more expensive than two or three off the shelf units installed by a HVAC contractor.

Keep us posted on your progress as you research the options, should be a fairly easy problem to solve. :)
Matthaus
Leisure Line Stove Company
http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/


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coaledsweat
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 4:42 pm

You may want to pour a new floor over the existing one w/PEX and forget that rooftop crap. Nothing but blowers and fans and starters and filters and maintenance. It wouldn't take as much heat to keep everyone comfy that way. A big floating heat sink is going to beat blowing air down from the ceiling any day. The cost of maintaining a hot water system in the floor is about zero.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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LsFarm
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 5:18 pm

Several [2-4] AHS, AxemanAnderson, Keystoker or other standard size units would be my suggestion too. You need to size them to the job of course.

You can get Anthracite delivered to Maine for around $200/ton in 24-28 ton loads.

Coaledsweat's idea of pouring a new floor has obvious problems, if you have a lot of machinery to move. But it you have large areas of open floor, then his suggestion is right on the mark. A floor at 70* is very comfortable for work, and you don't have the dust, fans, filters, motors etc. Coaledsweat ought to know... he work in and maintains some huge buildings and machinery.

Let us know what you find out.. an interesting new twist for the forum..

OH, welcome to the forum!!

Greg L

.
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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coaledsweat
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 5:44 pm

I have two HVAC units on the roof, a 12.5 and a 5 ton. I bet I spend at least $4-5K a year keeping everything up to snuff. My 250 HP boiler cost me a sight glass and gaskets in the last year. With all that money spent, the rooftop units still break down and on a day like today everyone is freezing even with them running. With the floor heat nobody leaves with cold feet, even after a day with no power.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.


Bob
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Joined: Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 11:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite
Location: Schuylkill County

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 7:37 pm

AHS offers a 260,000 BTU unit, a 500,000 BTU unit, 1,000,000 BTU unit and 1.5 million BTU Unit.
They have a 500 k unit operating at their fabrication facility in central PA and had several large units being built when I visited in the spring of 2007.

http://www.alternateheatingsystems.com/coalboilers.htm

CoalSeeker
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Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 11:17 am

Thanks everyone for all the feedback! The 500 AHS coal gun looks like it would definitely serve my needs. Looks like a great unit. For the time being however I'm going to have to stick to Natural Gas. Currently its still the cheapest way to heat. Its nice to know that alternatives exist however if natural gas goes up in price the way everything else has. Having trolled the forums for the last couple of days, I almost wish that natural gas prices would increase enough to justify my buying a coal furnace. I've spent so many hours poring through the threads in the forum that my wife says she thinks I have "combustion addiction"!

Thanks Again,
Nick

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Richard S.
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Posts: 12709
Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 12:18 pm

CoalSeeker wrote: For the time being however I'm going to have to stick to Natural Gas. Currently its still the cheapest way to heat.


:? You may want to check your figures... :D

http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls

For a coal price, you can factor in $130 per ton. You'll only need to find out how much its going to cost you to get it there, you should look into trailer loads at a time. That's going to vary, if you get hooked up with someone coming back empty form this area you're in business.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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europachris
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner
Location: N. Central Illinois

Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 1:30 pm

CoalSeeker wrote: For the time being however I'm going to have to stick to Natural Gas. Currently its still the cheapest way to heat.


My natural gas IS actually cheaper than heating with coal, yet I still purchased and installed a coal stove. It's cheaper right NOW, but as soon as gas goes through the roof (which it will) like propane and oil, I'll be sitting back laughing. I pay $300/ton for bagged rice, and I still smile every time I pour a bag in the hopper. OK, so Blaschak isn't the "small guy" company, but at least I'm keeping Americans at work mining and processing my coal and building my stove.

Not to mention I have therapeutic benefits of having a "toy" to play with. Burning coal is as much a winter hobby as it is a heat source. Very relaxing to sit by the warm fire and read, listen to music, or watch a movie. And, with the lousy reliability of most high efficiency gas furnaces, I have backup heat so when it's zero (or worse) outside and the furnace sh!ts the bed, I can still keep nice and warm while waiting for the repair (and not freeze up the house).
Economic Stimulus = Supporting your local Miners
I love the smell of Illinois bituminous in the morning.
Have you hooked a clinker today?

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