EFM = Electric Fireman (New Project Alert)

Stoker Coal Boilers automatically feed the coal and have controls and pumps just like any conventions boiler. They are intended to be used as a primary heat and often have domestic hot water coils as an added bonus. They can be set up independently or in dual sytem with your existing oil/gas boiler. They can accommodate both hot water base board or steam plumbing.
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europachris
Member
Posts: 993
Joined: Sat. Dec. 09, 2006 5:54 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner
Location: N. Central Illinois

Post Wed. Feb. 02, 2011 11:45 am

LsFarm wrote:OK Chris,, time for another update !! :D

How is the reflector working, how well is it holding together?

How much snow did you get up north of Chicago??

Greg L


Amazingly the reflector is still holding up! I'm impressed. I've not noticed a big difference with it installed, but it does seem to help. Mostly I think I'm getting better clinkers - I'm pulling all the ash out as clinker now. Part of it is just the learning curve, too. A few times I've thought there was too much loose ash so I shoveled some out only to not have any clinkers for a few days until it built up again. It just stabilizes at a certain level and that's that, I guess.

Hard to say how much snow because either the ground is almost bare or it's a 6 foot drift! I'd say an easy 14" to 16" of it, and the wind has been howling at 30+ knots since 6pm last night. My work is closed today, they even called it yesterday before we left. Roads closed, nobody is out. Everything is pretty much shut down. It's possible that this is THE biggest snow storm to have ever hit Rockford, IL - the largest being a bit over 16". No doubt some areas got 20" or more.

I've got a 3 or 4 foot drift between the house and the garage that I need to knock down so I can check the boiler. I was at least smart enough to fill the hopper to capacity and leave two 5 gal. buckets full next to it before this mess hit. Tonight is supposed to be -15 to -19 degrees! Better add an extra dose of PowerService so I don't end up with diesel Jell-O on the way to work tomorrow.
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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LsFarm
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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
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 Sun. Feb. 13, 2011 1:24 pm

Hi Chris, has the Hybrid become boring yet?? :shock: Do you have the tending of the stove down to a simple process?

I'm currious if the reflector worked well with last week's frigid weather, and how your coal consumption has worked out..

With the reflector, is there less flyash or soot to be cleaned off of the boiler's internal surfaces?

How far above the top of the tuyers is the reflector?? how much space between the reflector and the top of the burn chamber [air-gap to the water jacket]?

When the fire is idling, is the reflector still getting flames touching it?? any idea the reflector's temperature when the fire is idling and when the fire is at max burn??

Inquiring minds would like to know... well ok, I'm being nosey again.. :lol:

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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europachris
Member
Posts: 993
Joined: Sat. Dec. 09, 2006 5:54 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner
Location: N. Central Illinois

Post Sun. Feb. 13, 2011 5:32 pm

I can say, after cleaning the heating surfaces yesterday, that while the reflector didn't hurt, it didn't help much, either. Coal consumption seems to be about the same vs. heat output, I still get plenty of coke trees, and clinkers are about the same. I did notice the stuff I brushed out of the heat exchanger was definitely a higher percentage of ash vs. soot, though - more of a dark grey powder rather than black.

I have it hanging so the bottom of the reflector is even with the top of the round door opening which is also about even with the lower edge of the hanging baffle at the back. I cut it down from 12x12 to about 10x10 just to see if I get better heat circulation within the firebox. 12x12 seemed a little large and maybe wasn't letting the heat up to the top of the firebox as well and forcing it to sneak out under the baffle.

With a clean fire and running full tilt, flames are just licking the reflector. Temperature is HOT - how hot, I dunno, but the 2000F firebrick cement I layered over the surface is looking pretty cooked.

Today, the fire has been idling since 8am and you can barely even tell there is anything burning - just a faint few glowing coals down in the pot and the baffle is lukewarm - probably under 250F.

The fire pretty much stabilizes between 6 and 8" above the actual tuyeres - or about 1" below the bottom lip of the boiler - leaving an inch of firebrick showing. It's not uncommon to have a coke tree sticking up out of the fire and touching the reflector. It isn't a consistent thing - sometimes it will create small coke chunks that burn nicely, other times it gets "constipated" and craps out a real solid log of coke and it will keep doing it until you go in and break up the coke formation down into the pot to allow some air circulation. The coal starts to coke from the heat down below the level of the air slots and by the time it gets to where the air is, it is a solid mass and can't burn fast enough.

Next year I'll try some different coal that won't have quite the coking tendencies and it should be more "normal". Overall, it's really not too difficult or messy burning bituminous compared to anthracite in the Keystoker. It does take a little more work to go in and clean the fire twice a day (when it's really cold), but a less-compromised setup with larger and better located doors would make it a snap. The only real difference is the need for more frequent soot/ash cleaning - ideally, once a week during the coldest weather, every two or three weeks during milder temps. For a viable commercial bituminous boiler, it would have to have fire tubes that could be cleaned from a standing position and contain the fly ash and soot for removal. My setup contains the ash and soot - I just shovel it out of the base and into a plastic bag - but cleaning up inside the heat exchanger from a hole at the bottom of the base isn't the most ergonomic setup, especially with the required frequency.
Economic Stimulus = Supporting your local Miners
I love the smell of Illinois bituminous in the morning.
Have you hooked a clinker today?

Visit Alternate Heating Sytems

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Yanche
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Posts: 3032
Joined: Fri. Dec. 23, 2005 12:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Sun. Feb. 13, 2011 9:44 pm

How about some photos of the various things you describe. For us Anthracite burners most of what you describe is the foreign and unknown. Great project and glad you still have some ideas for improvements.
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

User avatar
LsFarm
Member
Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
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 Sun. Nov. 20, 2011 1:38 pm

Hey Chris, are you stocked up with coal for this winter?? or is your NG price still so low that burning Bit is a toss up??

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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