Monitoring Coal Usage - Is There a Stoker Counter?

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syncmaster
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Posts: 300
Joined: Sat. Apr. 19, 2008 1:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: harmanVF3000 Coal/oil option
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: VF3000
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman VF3000
Location: long Island,NY

Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 6:39 am

I have a miniute meter on my oil burner that runs when the oil burner is running that keeps track of how long it has run.
Knowing that I have a 1 gallon per hour nozzle the meter allows me to monitor how much oil I have burned.

I will be installing a VF3000 boiler and wondering if there is a counter on the stoker so I can monitor how much coal I am burning. I am thinking that each push by the stoker is equal to maybe a half pound of coal.

from reading through posts I know alot of people weigh the bucket and keep track of how many buckets they dump into the harper but I an looking for a easier way of keeping track of coal usage.

Thanks for your input

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WNY
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
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Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 7:44 am

Depends on the stoker grate size, stoker length, rate, time, etc.. YOu could probably hook up an hour/minute or counter on the stoker if you really wanted to and do some calculations. That's probably why many of us just either weigh or count how much we put in.

I just have a calendar and write # of buckets or bags each day.

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coal-cooker
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Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II
Location: Coopers Mills, ME

Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 7:59 am

I keep an Excel spread sheet, tracks how much I buy, cost, how much is left, days I've burned and average usage and cost per day. If I want to see just what I am burning say in a week, I dump the bags into buckets and keep track by hand of how much I burn during that time. The spread sheet is great, because I keep it running over several years and can see how my burning habits change, how much my heating cost goes up each year and how long I burn in any given year. I think Greg (LSFarm) does the same thing, only graphs out his usage and everything. I know at any given time, how much coal I have left and how long I can burn without buying more.


syncmaster
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Posts: 300
Joined: Sat. Apr. 19, 2008 1:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: harmanVF3000 Coal/oil option
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: VF3000
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman VF3000
Location: long Island,NY

Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 8:01 am

WNY wrote:Depends on the stoker grate size, stoker length, rate, time, etc.. YOu could probably hook up an hour/minute or counter on the stoker if you really wanted to and do some calculations. That's probably why many of us just either weigh or count how much we put in.

I just have a calendar and write # of buckets or bags each day.
I am going to try to set up the coal bin up so it auto feeds into the hopper.
here is my post on a autofeed bin:

I Have a Idea for a Autofeed Coal Bin

If it works I will need a different way of monitoring coal usage.
taking out the ashes every 3 days is bad enough... I hope to forego to bucket pouring.

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coal-cooker
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Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II
Location: Coopers Mills, ME

Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 8:04 am

Maybe you could atach a small counter to the feed mechanism, that would count everytime the pusher made one complete cycle. You could then weigh how much coal gets pushed each cycle and keep track that way.

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Highlander
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Joined: Tue. Dec. 05, 2006 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000 Sold
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000 Stoker Boiler
Location: Highland Lakes NJ
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Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 9:16 am

On my VF3K, I've calculated the feed rate to be approximately 0.1# of coal for each minute of stoker feed. The stoker runs approximately 3 RPM or about 20 seconds per stroke.

The easiest way to monitor your coal useage is to add a running time counter to the stoker motor power leads (120VAC) and keep track of how much coal you use over a given time. I used a digital fish scale and kept track of every pound I added to the hopper over a period of about a week or so. Once you have your run time and pounds used, its easy to come up with an accurate rate of feed.

If you change the stroke setting, you will have to start over again, but once its tweaked in, you shouldn't have to move it again.


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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 11:10 am

If you're trying to get an accurate measurement forget it. Other than weighing it with a calibrated scale you can't do it.

If you're just trying to get a ballpark measurement measure out 40 cubic feet per ton in your bin and mark the sides.

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e.alleg
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Post Sat. May. 10, 2008 10:45 pm

I use the ultimately accurate no mistake possible scientific method. I bought and used up 8 tons between October 1 and May 1. Divided by how many months/weeks/days/hours/minutes whatever that's the only way to calculate the usage, by yearly average. You will go crazy trying to figure out how much your using on a day to day basis because it all depends on the weather ;)

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

Post Sun. May. 11, 2008 8:34 am

e.alleg wrote:You will go crazy trying to figure out how much your using on a day to day basis because it all depends on the weather ;)
I just use the gauge on the oil tank, if it doesn't move, I'm happy. :)

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