Bituminous Misc. for a Newbie

Hand fed coal boilers and furnaces using bituminous coal to heat your home or business. Hand fed stoves as the name implies require manual feeding and air adjustments.
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self sufficent in MN
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Stove/Furnace Make: DAKA 521

Post Thu. Dec. 11, 2008 6:39 pm

I'm in northern MN and I've been burning wood for about 6 years. Wood supplies over 90% of my heating needs over the course of a winter. Woods becoming increasingly difficult to get, and I'm getting old, so the labor involved is taking it's toll. I've been considering switching to Bituminous. My stove is rated for soft coal and I recently purchased the shaker grate. I also picked up 20 gallons of coal just to try it out.

Could anyone tell me how many tons I could expect to burn to heat a 2000 sq ft home?

The only coal available is Kentucky Bituminous. It is screened and is in approx. 1 1/4" size pieces. The cost delivered is $250 for the first ton and $200 a ton for any additional. Is Kentucky coal good quality for burning?

I'm curious to do a cost comparison based on wood vs. coal after I get the approx. tonnage to heat 2000 sq ft. It sure seems to me to be a much better option.

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Berlin
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Post Thu. Dec. 11, 2008 6:44 pm

a hand fired appliance using kentucky bit. coal @ about 12,000 btu/lb probably around 5 tons, mabey six if the home isn't well insulated. if you really want to make it easy, and more efficient, get a stoker from wil-burt and install it into your boiler (if it'll fit) I love my underfed Bituminous stoker.
Burning western Pennsylvania Bituminous in WNY using model 77 stoker furnace. BITUMINOUS equiptment: 2 hand fired stoves of my own design, Many Combustioneer Model 77 stokers, stokermatic furnace, Many Will-Burt stokers, & and Two Iron firemen.

self sufficent in MN
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Post Thu. Dec. 11, 2008 10:01 pm

I'll check into that and thank you for the info. I fired up my first coal fire. I had a nice wood ember bed and added three layers of coal and then topped it with some crappy unseasoned wood. Wow. Unbelievable. It incinerated the wood that wood normally just smolder and I've never had such a warm fire. Perfect stack temperature range. I've been toying with the damper and it is quick and responsive. Much easier to regulate the burning temperature than wood.

I think based on cost my best option is to do both. That would ease my labor by half on the wood, yet still be a significant cost savings over just coal. If I could get the coal to $100 to $150 then I wouldnt even bother with the wood.


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dangit
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Post Fri. Dec. 12, 2008 2:30 am

self sufficent in MN, you are whooping up my song about all the work it takes to heat with wood. Glad to hear your first firing went OK and it is great to hear you have a good coal burning stove. I have burned wood and coal together but finally settled on just burning coal but I hear your concern regarding the cost of burning only coal. The KY bit coal is generally pretty decent coal and they have a lot of it.
ObamaNation, "Coal wildfires in China burn 200 million tons of coal each year, equivalent to 20% of the coal burned in America for power generation. So, it's my duty to BANKRUPT all American coal fired power plants in order to help Mother Earth."

self sufficent in MN
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Joined: Thu. Dec. 11, 2008 6:23 pm
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Post Fri. Dec. 12, 2008 6:01 pm

I get my wood for free - BUT - I have 3 hours driving time per 1 1/2 cords, chainsaws and maintenence, splitter and maintenence, and tons of handling. My wood bin would easily hold 6-8 tons of coals, where I have to refill the wood bin 4 or 5 times a year with wood. This after the labor of cutting the wood, hauling the wood, splitting the wood, and piling the wood. I think I'll purchase enough coal for a full season and then suppliment it with wood, but with wood cut more at my convienence. $1250 is the cost for coal for a season, approximately, compared to $1800 for my back-up LP. So it is still very cost efficient, but supplementing it with wood will be my most economical alternative.

oldcarguy
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Post Wed. Dec. 31, 2008 11:37 pm

I also live in NW MN (crookston) where do you buy your coal? The closest I can find in Lakota ND about 100 miles away. I paid $120 a ton for Wyoming stoker coal and $75 for ND lignite chunk coal.


self sufficent in MN
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Post Thu. Jan. 01, 2009 12:41 am

I buy it in Duluth, which is good because I live in Duluth, but it is expensive. Last year it was $100 a ton, this year the dock has a contract with just 1 local hauler- instead of selling it direct- so it is now $200 ton plus $50 delivery. I've called all over MN and WI, no luck on any other haulers. There was a guy that posted on Craigslist locally that was going to contract a semi to haul to Duluth and then he was going to try and make some money selling it by the pick-up load. I was the only person that even responded, so he abandoned that idea. He could get it in southern IL for $65.

self sufficent in MN
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Posts: 5
Joined: Thu. Dec. 11, 2008 6:23 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: DAKA 521

Post Thu. Jan. 01, 2009 12:44 am

By the way, the coal available in Duluth is Kentucky bit. Excellent quality, I sure wish I could get the price down though.

deerefanatic
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Post Thu. Jan. 01, 2009 6:12 pm

Hey, what's the name of the place in Duluth... I'm looking at $190/ton for stoker kentucky coal in bulk and that's ME going and getting it.....

Is that $200/ton plus $50/ton for delivery or $200/ton plus $50/LOAD for delivery? If it's only $50/load delivery, I'll gladly pay the extra $10/ton for not having to take off work to go get it.........

-Matt

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