Wood Pellet Quality

 
Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 6:55 am

hotblast1357 wrote:
Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 5:19 am
Sounds like you just need to zone out your rooms so u can shut the radiant off where u don’t want it.
Exactly. If someone wants different rooms to be different temperatures, it needs to be zoned accordingly. Too late now if he has a radiant concrete slab, but it would be possible to run the radiant at a reduced temperature (enough to keep outlying rooms at 67 or whatever) and use the stoves to bump up some areas.

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hotblast1357
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Post by hotblast1357 » Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 7:09 am

He could zone valve each loop at the manifolds.

 
Hoytman
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Post by Hoytman » Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 11:21 am

NoSmoke wrote:
Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 3:57 am
But these are the heating appliances I have. My pot bellied stove was built in 1893 for goodness sakes so its ability to control the fire is limited. I know I can go out and buy a coal stoves that can maintain the temperature right to 70 degrees. So it is not like coal has this inherent heating flaw that cannot be overcome.

FOR ME...it comes down to return on investment. My coal stove was free, and my wood pellet stove was free.

It would be kind of silly for me to go out and buy a $2000 coal stove just so it can do the same thing as my pellet stove of maintaining room temperature at 70 degrees.

When my pellet stove craps out, and needs to be replaced, then I will have to make a decision between pellets and coal, but for right now wood pellets are the cheapest way to heat my home.
Nothing wrong with using free.

I do think the right sized stoker, found used, would be cheaper to run in the long term than pellets in the long term all while doing the very same thing...not wasting heat as you’ve described. A small stoker should allow low temps in the house and still be easy to re-start when needed.

I
Heck, I’ve discovered by accident in this house that my “too big” 354 Hitzer, as I’ve called it, that I’m using nut coal in is doing the very same things you describe. I’m sure if I had a much taller chimney I could idle it even lower, but as it stands now the 13ft chimney I’ve had it as low as 230F while maintaining at least 68F...and that with closing the bedroom doors too. When I get a manometer in place I maybe can go lower. All this negates starting and re-starting a fire with ZERO worries of any chimney fire. I am told I may be able to dial my stove down as low as 150F...maybe after tuning the chimney some by adding more height. Even for now at 60F OAT I can run this stove and maintain the IAT without wasting heat as you said...which is a good goal. If I can’t run the stove without losing draft in warmer OAT’s then no big deal...I’m close to a tolerable OAT of 67-68F. I flip on the furnace or throw in a chunk of wood when the house gets too cold. The beauty of a wood/coal hand fed...

 
Hoytman
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Post by Hoytman » Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 11:34 am

Hambden Bob wrote:
Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 5:26 am
NS,I look at it this way: When I'm Responsible for all facets of Heating Your Home,then I can call the shots!
Fortunately,I'm not! Your Life,Your Labor,Your Comfort And Necessity, And Finally,Your Labor(Yeah,Mentioned Twice On Purpose) And Cash! Well,that all piles up into the corner to Equal,Wait For It..... Your Way!!!
Enjoy Your Heat,Gang!!
Absolutely! Nothing wrong with that. His stoves were free so hard to argue or compare with free.

In my other post I didn’t reply as a rebuttal to him and not suggesting anyone thinks I’ve done so, just showing my newbie results.

However, when the free brakes and you have to buy new or used...

TSC pellets are $5 a bag here. TSC nut coal on sale is $5 a bag...same weight. The btu math makes it a no-contest discussion. Yes, that’s pellets versus nut, but it’s still a coal versus wood discussion making it a btu for btu discussion and coal still comes out on top even with rice coal possibly costing as much as $7.50-$8 a bag. Your time is still worth something...fiddle with one bag of more expensive rice stoker anthracite, or handle two bags of pellets and use a bag and a half of the pellets. You’re handling at least one bag of those pellets now twice at this point, so time/cost is rising as well.

No knocking pellets at all or NS’s life style choices. He’s well aware how nice coal is and how much less work it is. I’m sure if he could find a used stoker or free stoker or right sized modern hand fed, or better yet the right base heater to maintain a low temp, he’d probably like that even better and be even happier.

I know as a newbie I am amazed with anthracite.

 
Rob R.
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Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Post by Rob R. » Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 1:17 pm

hotblast1357 wrote:
Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 7:09 am
He could zone valve each loop at the manifolds.
As long as the loop layout somewhat matches the different areas, that would work very well. If he gets a good price on propane, the cost to use the radiant floor is probably close to the cost of running the pellet stove...without the noise or dust.

 
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hotblast1357
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Post by hotblast1357 » Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 1:46 pm

Yup. And a more comfortable heat.

 
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Hambden Bob
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Post by Hambden Bob » Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 6:46 pm

Hell,Hoyt! Never Thought Anything But Good On Your Posts! The Fact That You Care To Comment Is What Makes This Place Rock!
You Really Can't Help The Fact That You Have A Rabid Lust For Der' Black Rocks!!
This Place is All About Energy Independence,and Our Zeal as Americans to stay warm without blowing the Mortgage(or Beer)Money on doing it!! Yo-Ho,Carbonites!!

 
Hoytman
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Location: swOH near a little town where the homes are mobile and the cars aren’t
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Coal Size/Type: nut coal
Other Heating: electric, wood, oil

Post by Hoytman » Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 12:21 am

Hambden Bob wrote:
Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 6:46 pm
Hell,Hoyt! Never Thought Anything But Good On Your Posts! The Fact That You Care To Comment Is What Makes This Place Rock!
You Really Can't Help The Fact That You Have A Rabid Lust For Der' Black Rocks!!
This Place is All About Energy Independence,and Our Zeal as Americans to stay warm without blowing the Mortgage(or Beer)Money on doing it!! Yo-Ho,Carbonites!!
Well, you are quite right. It’s sort of in my blood. Never been a miner, never been in a mine, but I have chosen black rocks for a couple reasons:

1. I found out through this site that anthracite burns clean and hot, is good for residential heating, has virtually no smell once it’s burning well, zero chance of a chimney fire, stoves and anthracite are available near me, and plenty of great people here to help me and others. Not saying it hasn’t happened, but since I’ve been on this forum I don’t think I’ve seen a single major, let alone minor, spat among the members. Awesome!!!

2. Grandpa never let us forget how things were in eastern Kentucky when he grew up. He entered the mines for the first time, along with his brother, when he was 7 years old. As he got older he left the mines and went to trucking coal. My uncle still has his old carbide light. I hope to get that hat/light someday. I have to small yellow glass coal hods that my grandma used to keep near her fire place. They are just nick-knacks, but she had those to remember those times, I am sure.

I turned to the black rocks just to keep my grandparents memory alive...if nothing else. I do it so my son will keep his memory of his great grandpa. Lucky kid!!!

3. I burn black rocks to remember my grandpa’s sister, that’s what he called her, and to keep her memory alive as well. She was born in 1910 and he was born in 1923. I can still remember as a kid hearing my great uncle stoke and shake the old Warm Morning about 5am, and by 5:30am, everyone in the house...pallets from one end of the house to the other...so many you’d trip over someone going to the bathroom...that is if you didn’t step out on the front porch or out behind the house...sometimes be 25-30 of us packed like sardines in that house up on the slate dump...everyone in the house would be getting up for breakfast and my great uncle would slip in the room, flip on the light, roll back the home-made quilt and would begin to gum the heck out of my toes trying to wake me up for breakfast. There would buttermilk cat head biscuits and bulldog gravy, fresh sliced and peeled tomatoes and cucumbers, eggs, sausage or ham, and bacon and fried pork shoulder, big ol’ pan of fried apples, grits, and even fried cornbread. There’d be coffee...generally instant...milk, good old fashioned Mountain Dew (the good kind in a bottle...most times we drank it at dinner)...or good cold water for breakfast from the spring out back...kept cold in the fridge in an old yaller’ Prestone anti-freeze jug. Whaaaat? You never heard of that? My great aunt couldn’t read. Besides, she always said she rinsed it out good. Ever’ one of us drank from it...pert near 30 of us at one time or another. Heck, I’ve tilted the jug on end. Lol!!! I’m still kickn’ and that was 45 years ago. Usually my great uncle had already eat first and took off waking down the railroad track...usually to go to the store for supplies and meat for dinner and some of that good souse meat, and to get some non-filter Camels...this by 5:30-6am.
My great aunt would always holler through the house with that eastern Kentucky accent that sounds like heaven...”come on younguns”...and we’d all gather round the table. Pap would say 15 minutes worth of grace it seemed, and there’d be people taking food everywhere in the house to eat...out on the porch, out in the yard in the old metal glider.

A lot of time the bedroom window would be open some and I could look out over the valley, the highway, and the railroad track, and Horsecreek there in Hima Kentucky...Clay county...Crawfish to be exact. Anyone that’s been there or lived there would know where it is...it’s the back side of Curry Branch. I could even look out and see the old church where Pap used to be pastor before he and grandma left for Ohio. I’d wake up and the valley would be be foggy, the roosters people had would be crowing, and you could hear the diesel locomotive rev and blow his horn as he left the coal tipple....that’s the breaker....called a tipple in bit country. A few times I might have even heard a steam train going through there, but I’m not sure. If I did it would have almost exclusively been passing through as some sort of train ride for nostalgia’s sake. Seems like I do remember it though. Would have been mid70’s...and only once or twice, but I’m not sure.

Long about 10am I could look down over the holler and along the tracks and see my uncle coming...Camel in lip, black ball cap, white t-shirt, and bib overhauls. Used to walk that track drunker than a skunk singin’ “Amazing Grace” while he staggered all over the track. That was well ahead of my days though. By the time I was born the good Lord had saved him and relieved him of his vice of drinkin’. He was a miner as well. Every man in that country that didn’t have his own business either logged, or mined coal, or worked a job related to coal and mining...that’s all there was...even in the 1970’s and slightly after.

I could go on...but yeah...black rocks and black rock country made a profound impact on my life in a different kind of way than most who lived or still live there. I go every chance I get. Still have relatives there.

4. It does me good to think I am supporting someone in the coal industry.

5. All that said, I’m not beyond burning some of that good east KY lump when I can make a trip and haul my own truck load back. In fact, I can probably get it near me in Cinci off the river.

People who live in coal country everywhere are salt of the earth if you ask me...some of the finest people to ever draw breath.

Wow! I guess I sort of high-jacked this thread. Lol!!! Sorry..., but I couldn’t help it.

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NoSmoke
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Post by NoSmoke » Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 7:52 am

Rob R. wrote:
Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 1:17 pm
As long as the loop layout somewhat matches the different areas, that would work very well. If he gets a good price on propane, the cost to use the radiant floor is probably close to the cost of running the pellet stove...without the noise or dust.
You are spot on...

I was going to buy a new wood/coal boiler once, but the cost was $7000 at the time, and the stove store owner told me, my system is so efficient at running propane that I would never recoup the small margin of savings.

That does not mean burning wood or coal was wrong, I just needed to get the initial investment down, so I ended up buying a used wood/coal stove instead for $700. That was 10% of new, and made a decent return on investment of wood/coal burning over that of propane.

AGAIN, this is all me...other people's situation differ.

 
NoSmoke
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Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler/Englander Pellet Stove/Perkins 4.108 Cogeneration diesel

Post by NoSmoke » Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 7:57 am

What really bothers me is that people lock themselves into a heating source without really looking into it.

Like a woman in WY was saying she had no trees so she could not burn wood, so she had to burn natural gas and hated it because she was dependent on a supply of it, and not self-reliant.

I told her she lived in WY...buy a coal stove and then get a stock pile of coal saved up, and she would be less dependent upon the natural gas delivered system.

You would have thought I was asking for her children: there was NO WAY she was doing that, coal was BAD! I was like, "get over it Honey, you live where there is coal, use what you have". But as I said, people lock themselves into certain ideas without basing it on experience or research. That too me is silly.

 
NoSmoke
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
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Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler/Englander Pellet Stove/Perkins 4.108 Cogeneration diesel

Post by NoSmoke » Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 8:05 am

Rob R. wrote:
Tue. Feb. 11, 2020 1:17 pm
As long as the loop layout somewhat matches the different areas, that would work very well. If he gets a good price on propane, the cost to use the radiant floor is probably close to the cost of running the pellet stove...without the noise or dust.
This was the problem: I was not there when the concrete guy adding the pex loops to my floor, so none are the same length, as that is what I always do when I install in-slab pex. For that reason I had to add flow controls on every loop to ensure I was getting the 15 degree drop in temp from supply to return out of the floor loop. It kind of sucked because once each loop was set for flow, I did not need the flow controls again.

I do have (3) zones, but are quite big, and span multiple rooms.

To get some extra economy, I also programmed the PLC so that there must be (2) calls for heat, out of the (3) thermostats before the boiler will kick on. This ensures that there is not just a cold spot in the house or something to cause the boiler to fire.

We like the radiant heat, but it costs quite a bit more money to be that comfortable. Once I get my cogen going (engine/generator), and then tie in my wood/coal boiler, I might be able to heat with the radiant floor heat with less fuel costs, and yet get the same level of comfort as we did burning propane.

Equally I might get a job too, where propane costs are no longer a concern. With just Katie working, every penny is accounted for.

 
Hoytman
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Post by Hoytman » Thu. Feb. 13, 2020 10:03 am

NoSmoke wrote:
Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 7:57 am
What really bothers me is that people lock themselves into a heating source without really looking into it.

Like a woman in WY was saying she had no trees so she could not burn wood, so she had to burn natural gas and hated it because she was dependent on a supply of it, and not self-reliant.

I told her she lived in WY...buy a coal stove and then get a stock pile of coal saved up, and she would be less dependent upon the natural gas delivered system.

You would have thought I was asking for her children: there was NO WAY she was doing that, coal was BAD! I was like, "get over it Honey, you live where there is coal, use what you have". But as I said, people lock themselves into certain ideas without basing it on experience or research. That too me is silly.
Very important point, NS. Exactly, what I am doing and why I wanted a wood/coal stove. I currently now have 5 ways to heat my home...depending on what is cheapest at the time...actually 6. I will explain that in a moment.

1. I currently have two of those little fake electric wood stoves. Even the small one heats well with electric above 30F. The big one I haven't tried, but I know both can be used to heat my home with electric if I needed to. Might cost me a house payment each month to do it, but I have heat.

2. I have a fuel oil furnace with a full tank.

3&4. I am burning anthracite as I write this, and have nearly 4 cord of wood on hand that can be burned in the same stove.

5. I have two large kerosene heaters out in the garage.

6. I also have a large propane tank out behind the house that we use for the cook stove and if need be I could hook up a propane heater to it.

I think I could just about weather in spike in price of any of those listed, as well as a shortage, power outage, etc. I will just keep building the supply of wood and coal, keep my fuel oil tank full, my k-1's full for the garage, and keep the electric on stand-by. May even install an efficient heat pump. Nah!!! I can do anything I need to do with my stove and the rest of what I have.

Next is to super-insulate my home with the money I've saved, and then from the money I'll save from insulating and saving fuel...well...that'll be stove money for playing with antiques.

I now have a full tank of fuel oil

 
fig
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Post by fig » Thu. Feb. 13, 2020 12:25 pm

I have propane heaters, wood coal furnace, multi fuel pellet stove, regular pellet stove, catalytic wood stove, kerosene heaters and a myriad of quartz electric heaters. Why limit yourself to one fuel type?

 
NoSmoke
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Location: Mid Coast Maine
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
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Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler/Englander Pellet Stove/Perkins 4.108 Cogeneration diesel

Post by NoSmoke » Fri. Feb. 21, 2020 7:58 am

That is exactly why I am setting up my cogeneration unit...

I wanted to put my firewood/coal boiler out in my lambing barn anyway, so if I am going to run the lines out there for that, why not put my generator beside it? Since I want my generator to have its own engine, why not plumb the coolant lines to the firewood/coal boiler?

That will give me:

1. Wood pellet as primary/back up heat as a stand alone unit
2. Corn can be burned in a pellet stove

Then in my radiant floor heating system I would have:

3. Back-Up propane boiler
4. Firewood
5. Coal
6. Diesel

7. Stand alone electric heaters

Cogeneration:
With my 83 amp/20 KW back up generator, I can make 100% of my own power

 
NoSmoke
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Posts: 1382
Joined: Sun. Oct. 14, 2012 7:52 pm
Location: Mid Coast Maine
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Baseburners & Antiques: Woods and Bishop Antique Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler/Englander Pellet Stove/Perkins 4.108 Cogeneration diesel

Post by NoSmoke » Fri. Feb. 21, 2020 8:01 am

Last year when we lived in our Tiny House, we heated with:

Wood pellets
Corn
Fuel Oil
Coal
Firewood

And that was a Tiny House!!

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