Energy Max 160, Big Enough?

For topics about heating with other types of fuel such as wood burners, gas furnaces, oil burners and geothermal heat pumps.
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Post Wed. Jan. 04, 2017 9:46 pm

coaledsweat wrote:
ultimatespine wrote: I may be leaning more towards a wood/coal boiler tied into my oil boiler. I don't know why some of you are strongly against multi fuel systems. Maybe they are not as efficient as coal only boilers, but is taking a slight hit in efficiency for the flexibility of multi fuel that bad of a decision?
You already own an oil boiler. Why spend the extra money to buy a dual fuel and give up the efficiency? Plus, with your oil and another coal burner, you have 100% backup. You don't get that with a dual fuel device.
why can't I have that with a coal/wood boiler?

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Posts: 3633
Joined: Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 1:08 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Wed. Jan. 04, 2017 9:57 pm

Because a unit either burns coal well, or wood well, but not both well.....And everyone here, to the last one of us, has burned wood at some point. I have personally burned more then most people. Growing up we burned 12/14 cord per winter and I went on the heat with wood and then got a wood boiler.....egads.....that thing required so much care! I never got the outdoor wood boiler bug, and found coal by accident. I will never burn wood for anything but ambiance. Of course, I moved to Tenn......but I have a fire in the fireplace tonight to snuggle up with the spousal unit. Depending on your age, and how much free time you have, there is no such thing as free wood.


PS, I am from Maine, I own a skidder, I have plenty of land in my family, I have chainsaws, I have an awesome aint free.....

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11343
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 5:53 am

I don't know why some of you are strongly against multi fuel systems. Maybe they are not as efficient as coal only boilers, but is taking a slight hit in efficiency for the flexibility of multi fuel that bad of a decision?
Because I've already tried it. Here is a picture of my old boiler:
It was a boiler made to burn wood or coal. When burning wood, if the boiler was working hard the stack temperature on the boiler was about 800 degrees - if it was not working hard, it made a ton of creosote. 12-15 full cords per winter, and we still burned heating oil in October and April!! (to avoid creosote from the idling boiler). Burning coal was a much better experience than wood thanks to the long burn times, and no creosote. I still struggled in cold weather though, the firebox design in this boiler was shaped like a 'V', and when fired hard it would produce massive clinkers. It was also a pain to get the ash cleared correctly, and it would overheat the house on warm days. I think there a hand-fed boilers that do a better job at burning coal than the one I used, but I can tell you that any hand-fed boiler that burns coal well is going to suck at burning wood. That DS Machine boiler is a good example, more than one person has stated on this forum that they have terrible creosote problems when burning wood in that unit. If you REALLY want to burn wood and want to do it well, get a gassification boiler.

Just in case you are curious what I use now that the smoke dragon is gone:
7 tons of rice coal per winter...with no heating oil, no midnight reloads, no creosote, no bugs, and no smoke complaints.

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Posts: 8289
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 8:53 am

McGiever wrote:Without using your existing air handlers for distribution your idea will fail.

Sell your wood to some other fellow and go and buy coal with the'll thank us for this later. 8-)

There is no quick fix here, do you want to be a slave to a wood stove or maybe prop up your feet and enjoy economical comfort of coal heat?
This is really good advice. ^ I use a combo wood/coal furnace but have modified it to burn coal only. I had a short lived experience with wood and will never touch it again. If I had a wood lot available I'd be cutting and splitting it to sell, get top dollar. You can do the work during warm weather and reap the benefits with coal during the cold. Serious win win right there.

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Posts: 12191
Joined: Wed. Nov. 23, 2005 9:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 10:39 am

You will be reloading a wood stove roughly every 4 hours (day and night). A hand fed coal stove will be tended only once every 12 hours. A stoker fed coal stove can go several days between reloads. Ditto for boilers.

Democracy rests upon the principle that collective wisdom arises from a pool of individual ignorance. A Republic rests squarely upon objective law, and fundamentally upon those laws which restrict the scope and actions of government.

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