AHS Multi-Fuel Boiler.

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

Post Thu. Dec. 18, 2014 11:06 am

Benjamin wrote:Thanks. I will be researching a little while longer. I would prefer a stoker but haven't had much luck finding other supplier models that have the auto switchover to oil as a backup fuel.
That can be done with you existing heating equipment and the new coal stoker of your choice. All you need is a temp switch and relay. Buying a dual fuel isn't really the best choice as they are a compromise by design plus with two separate systems you have 100% backup.

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titleist1
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post Thu. Dec. 18, 2014 11:12 am

whistlenut brings up a good point about considering the location of the boiler....

Not just for piping convenience, but also for coal delivery & feeding logistics as well as ash removal. It sounds like you will be using quite a bit of fuel with the size boiler you are looking at so labor intensive coal handling will get old quick. There are a lot of innovative ideas on here that might fit your circumstances and make it as easy as possible - look through the coal bin threads for examples of what others have done.

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Rob R.
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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. Dec. 18, 2014 12:54 pm

My opinion is that a hand-fed boiler is a very work-intensive choice for an older home with a high heat load.

The other issue is that in order to a have a hand-fed boiler that is sized to have 12 hour burn times in January, you also get a boiler that needs a good dump zone for Nov/Dec and Mar/Apr.

I suggest you look at a stoker boiler. If the current oil boiler doesn't leak and is functional, would you consider leaving it in place? The oil boiler could be setup to come on if the house cools to a certain temperature, etc.

Benjamin
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Location: Windsor Mill, MD

Post Sat. Dec. 20, 2014 1:30 am

After looking at various models and talking with a few of the suppliers, I think you guys are right in that for my home a stoker would be far better than a hand fed system. I thought that meant I'd have to give up on oil as a backup fuel but I did find these two models:

EFM DF520 and Keystoker KC-10
Both appear to be stokers with optional oil add-ons (manual switch over).

The ancient beast in the cellar now does not work and I wouldn't want to try and make it work. Thus the reason for trying to find a 2-in-1 solution. Not sure I can afford to buy two completely independent systems.

Does anyone happen to be familiar with either the EFM or Keystoker? I couldn't get a hold of EFM today but I did talk with Keystoker and they were talking up their system as 86% efficient for both the coal and oil. Sounded pretty good to me. Thoughts?

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lsayre
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW), ComfortMax 75
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Sat. Dec. 20, 2014 5:22 am

Benjamin wrote:Does anyone happen to be familiar with either the EFM or Keystoker? I couldn't get a hold of EFM today but I did talk with Keystoker and they were talking up their system as 86% efficient for both the coal and oil. Sounded pretty good to me. Thoughts?
Both are good stoker boilers, as would be an Axeman Anderson or an AHS Coal Gun (those these two lack the dual fuel capability you are seeking).

But I find claims of 86% efficiency with coal to be a stretch. Ask them if that is "overall system" efficiency, or just their measured peak of firing combustion efficiency. For annual coal consumption planning purposes it would be safer to initially assume closer to 65%-70% overall system efficiency in my opinion.

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

Post Sat. Dec. 20, 2014 7:39 am

lsayre wrote:
Benjamin wrote:Does anyone happen to be familiar with either the EFM or Keystoker? I couldn't get a hold of EFM today but I did talk with Keystoker and they were talking up their system as 86% efficient for both the coal and oil. Sounded pretty good to me. Thoughts?
Both are good stoker boilers, as would be an Axeman Anderson or an AHS Coal Gun (those these two lack the dual fuel capability you are seeking).

But I find claims of 86% efficiency with coal to be a stretch. Ask them if that is "overall system" efficiency, or just their measured peak of firing combustion efficiency. For annual coal consumption planning purposes it would be safer to initially assume closer to 65%-70% overall system efficiency in my opinion.
The only thing you'll see with efficiencies over 85% is the Axeman and AHS Coal Gun. They have the edge by design and operation.

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windyhill4.2
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both
Location: Jonestown,Pa.17038

Post Sat. Dec. 20, 2014 10:04 am

Benjamin wrote:
The ancient beast in the cellar now does not work and I wouldn't want to try and make it work. Thus the reason for trying to find a 2-in-1 solution. Not sure I can afford to buy two completely independent systems. ?
Can you replace the oil unit with a decent used unit? for less than the oil burner option on the coal stoker ?

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Rob R.
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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 Sat. Dec. 20, 2014 10:13 am

David, that is a good point. Yes, used oil boilers are often available for a couple hundred $. Lots of people are switching to NG and removing oil units, some of which are <10 yrs old. In my area I often see Weil McLain Gold oil boilers for $500 or less, ready to run.
Does anyone happen to be familiar with either the EFM or Keystoker? I couldn't get a hold of EFM today but I did talk with Keystoker and they were talking up their system as 86% efficient for both the coal and oil. Sounded pretty good to me. Thoughts?
86% efficient when burning oil in a coal boiler? That is not realistic.

Used EFM 520s are a pretty rare find with an oil package, but they come up occasionally. A used DF520 can have an oil package added, but the oil kit alone is about $1000 if I remember correctly. Used equipment is usually the best bargain, especially when it comes to EFM's. $10,000 for a new unit simply takes too long to recover (in my opinion).

Van Wert is another option that is sometimes forgotten. The stokers are simple and rugged, and very powerful for the size.

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McGiever
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Sat. Dec. 20, 2014 12:04 pm

Some really great ideas given here.
Where else can one get such great ideas/advice?

And it's FREE ;)

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McGiever
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Sun. Dec. 21, 2014 4:31 pm

Benjamin wrote:After looking at various models and talking with a few of the suppliers, I think you guys are right in that for my home a stoker would be far better than a hand fed system. I thought that meant I'd have to give up on oil as a backup fuel but I did find these two models:

EFM DF520 and Keystoker KC-10
Both appear to be stokers with optional oil add-ons (manual switch over).

The ancient beast in the cellar now does not work and I wouldn't want to try and make it work. Thus the reason for trying to find a 2-in-1 solution. Not sure I can afford to buy two completely independent systems.

Does anyone happen to be familiar with either the EFM or Keystoker? I couldn't get a hold of EFM today but I did talk with Keystoker and they were talking up their system as 86% efficient for both the coal and oil. Sounded pretty good to me. Thoughts?
ebay auction_COAL-GUN-S-500-with-7-ton-silo-and-augers

ASH Coal Gun s 500,000 BTU boiler automated
PRICE LOWERED COMPLETE BOILER / 7 TON SILO / ALL AUGERS SYSTEM IS ALL AUTOMATED
up for sale I have a coal gun hot water boiler with 8 ton silo and augers. it complete automated
it draws coal from the 8 ton silo to feed boiler and has automatic ash removal. it is 500,000 btu
augers are 3 units one auger loads the 8 ton silo. one auger feeds the boiler and one auger removes the ashs. will burn coal or corn. the boiler is self cleaning in the turbulator tubes by using the fly ash to clean. it has three passes of heat transfer. it is high efficient.
Last edited by McGiever on Sun. Dec. 21, 2014 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lsayre
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW), ComfortMax 75
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Sun. Dec. 21, 2014 4:45 pm

Interesting that he states it will burn corn. I would be a might suspicious of that, mainly due to the concern for a hopper fire with corn. It would be a lot like burning corn in a hand fed coal stove with a hopper.

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McGiever
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Sun. Dec. 21, 2014 4:52 pm

I like ole *bksahn*, a member here from Kentucky, saying..."It is morally wrong to burn something that whiskey can be made from"

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lsayre
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW), ComfortMax 75
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Mon. Dec. 22, 2014 8:30 am

McGiever wrote:I like ole *bksahn*, a member here from Kentucky, saying..."It is morally wrong to burn something that whiskey can be made from"
But at todays low corn prices it offers more BTU's per dollar than does anthracite coal (for my case at least).

Bushel of corn: Roughly $3.80 (for a nominal 56 lbs.)
That rounds to $0.068 per pound.
Corn has ~6,970 nominal BTU's per pound at the typical 15.5% moisture content.
6,970 BTU's / $0.068 = 102,500 BTU's per Dollar

Taxed and delivered coal for me costs $274/ton
$274/2000 = $0.137 per pound.
BTU's at a nominal 5-6% moisture = 12,250
12,250 BTU's / $0.137 = 89,416 BTU's per Dollar

Now the trick is to determine the cost of delivered corn to me. No tax I presume.
Last edited by lsayre on Mon. Dec. 22, 2014 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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McGiever
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Posts: 6086
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Mon. Dec. 22, 2014 8:34 am

Bushel of corn: Roughly $3.80 (for a nominal 56 lbs.)
Do you know of some place you can buy it at that is charging that exact price...and at that price is it taxed and delivered to you also?

Must compare Apples to Apples. ;)
Last edited by McGiever on Mon. Dec. 22, 2014 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lsayre
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Posts: 12569
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), ComfortMax 75
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Mon. Dec. 22, 2014 8:36 am

McGiever wrote:
Bushel of corn: Roughly $3.80 (for a nominal 56 lbs.)
Do you know of some place that is charging that exact price...and at that price is it delivered to you also?

Must compare Apples to Apples. ;)
We think alike here, as I was typing an amendment to my post as you posted this.

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