A Boiler for This Old Dungeon With A Swimming Pool

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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lsayre
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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 Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Pacowy wrote:From the original post (and some of the pics linked in a later post) I got the impression there are over 5000 sf on each level of the building, and the "dungeon" refers only to the basement level.

Mike
You could be right in assuming that heating the entire building could well require more than 500,000 input BTU's. I assumed 2 floors heated at 5,400 Sq-ft each, both with 10 ft ceilings.
-Larry

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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dalmatiangirl61
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Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 3:47 pm

Coalnewbie
I'll draw up a floor plan and get it up here, as for a video, I just got my first video cam and I'm still trying to figure that out. For now I'm just trying to make it comfortable, but if someone makes the right offer I'm outta here, you interested :lol: ?

Franco
The only local source of fuel is wood, everything else, pellets, coal, oil, propane has to be trucked in. There is talk of a natural gas pipeline coming through, but at this point its just talk.

Berlin
That stoker seems like it might be a bit quieter than the ones that ratchet away, tell me more. If a big hopper was placed near the boiler I could put a chute into the same bricked-up window that has the chimney going thru it, local coal guy does deliver, then all I need to do is haul ashes/clinker out. No, there are no other chimneys, in fact, chimneys seem to have been an afterthought, even the first boiler in here exhausted thru what was designed as a window. Nor are there any outbuildings, and entire back half of property needs to be excavated and regraded, so building one is not an option yet.

Isayre
The dungeon is just the basement, just under 6000 sq ft if I remember correctly, and with 10 ft ceilings. This is the only floor I am interested in heating, would you mind recalculating? Just for some perspective, the main floor of the building has 18' high ceilings :shock:

Carbon12
Geothermal has been contemplated, there is quite a bit of geothermal activity (hotsprings) just north of town. Geothermal wells would need to be drilled in the back yard, but it needs to be excavated 6-8 feet before anything can be done back there. Solar for the pool is another option, panels need to go on roof, but I need a new roof first :bang: . Somedays I just want to run away screaming...........

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Carbon12
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace
Location: Harrisburg, PA

Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 7:17 pm

No matter where you go,......there you are.

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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)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 8:06 pm

OK, for heating the basement level only: Take this with a grain of salt, but a loose rule of thumb for poorly insulated houses is to allow 10 watts per square foot. Allowing for -40 degrees and 10' ceilings and beyond poorly insulated, if 12 watts per square foot was to be assumed, and you have 6,000 sq-ft, then:

12 x 6,000 = 72,000 watts

1 watt = 3.412 BTU's (by definition)

72,000 x 3.412 = ~245,700 output BTU's required

Assuming further that real world efficiency for a typical coal boiler is ~65%:

245,700 / 0.65 = 378,000 input BTU's required.

My gut feeling however (Sting, I'm confident that multiple of your rules are being violated in all of this) is that this would merely establish the upper limit, and an actual heat loss calculation would likely come in below this figure.
Last edited by lsayre on Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-Larry

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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dcrane
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Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 8:16 pm

lsayre wrote:OK, for heating the basement level only: Take this with a grain of salt, but a loose rule of thumb for poorly insulated houses is to allow 10 watts per square foot. Allowing for -40 degrees and 10' ceilings and beyond poorly insulated, if 12 watts per square foot was to be assumed, and you have 6,000 sq-ft, then:

12 x 6,000 = 72,000 watts

1 watt = 3.412 BTU's (by definition)

72,000 x 3.412 = ~245,500 output BTU's required

Assuming further that real world efficiency for a typical coal boiler is ~65%:

245,500 / 0.65 = 377,700 input BTU's required.

My gut feeling however (Sting, I'm confident that multiple of your rules are being violated in all of this) is that this would merely establish the upper limit, and an actual heat loss calculation would likely come in below this figure.
Mahahaha... Dal Girl now knows why we love Larry around here... He the best number cruncher in the game toothy

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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)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 8:35 pm

That level of BTU input requires the burning of about 30 lbs. of anthracite or high grade bituminous per hour (and perhaps as much as 50 lbs per hour for the lower grade coals available out west) to achieve though! :shock:

Something to seriously be aware of before you choose coal as your source for heating energy. Auger feed from bin to boiler would be a must.
-Larry

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.

Pacowy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite
Location: Dalton, MA

Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 8:46 pm

Larry,

I'm not familiar with the watts approach, so please bear with me. When you have the 245,700 btu/hr figure for required output, do you need to account for both distribution losses ("pickup factor") and the efficiency of the boiler in extracting the btus? I think old-school methods would say add around 30% for pickup, so even if the boiler was 80% efficient, the required input BTU's would be more like (245,700 x 1.3)/0.8 = about 400k btu/hr.

Mike

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Rick 386
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
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Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work
Location: Royersford, Pa
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Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 8:47 pm

Time for me to jump in here.

Kristen, I was the secretary/treasurer for our Masonic Temple Assn a few years back. Our building is very similar to the one you are involved in right now. We have an all masonry building with 1 foot thick + walls. It is built very similar to yours. We too have the high ceilings and the open type floor plan. And ours is 3 full stories. It was built back in 1927.

Initially it was heated by a coal fired steam boiler. Then later it was converted to oil and now is heated by gas. I believer we had a close to 1 million BTU boiler in there. The old boiler started leaking and needed replacement. We were fortunate in that a local company was just coming out with a new European style gas fired boiler unit that they needed a "test facility" that had the required heat load for their testing. We got the boiler for free as long as we could provide internet access and allow them to come in and make changes as necessary for their testing.

As mentioned it was the old single pipe steam unit. We only had 1 zone.........the entire building. We were constantly fighting the heat load. We found that during the 3rd week of the month, there were 4 meetings held on back to back nights. We never turned down the heat that weeks as it took too long to heat it back up. We would start upping the thermostat starting Sunday night to get the building warm by Monday night. I suspect you would find the same situation when you attempt to heat your building. It takes a long time to heat up the walls but once hot, they will radiate heat for some time.

What we ended up doing was converting it from steam to regular hot water. We also created several zones and in those zones put in non electric thermostatically controlled devices on each radiator. This allows us to control each room within a zone and if necessary lower the temp to prevent freezing.

As the great figment of the internet named Sting has said, you first need to do that heat loss calculation. Then at that point you can inquire into what sized boiler you need. It is possible you could use 2 or 3 smaller units that would be fired as the temps drop. And you need to get a good plumber in there who knows commercial plumbing. Your building requires someone with some smarts and not just a weekend pipe solderer who went to the Home Depot clinic.

As soon as possible, I'll try to get some pics of the system we installed there. They are currently doing a haunted house there so it may take me a few weeks to gain access.

Rick
Master of "Trial and Error."

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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)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 8:49 pm

Pacowy wrote:Larry,

I'm not familiar with the watts approach, so please bear with me. When you have the 245,700 btu/hr figure for required output, do you need to account for both distribution losses ("pickup factor") and the efficiency of the boiler in extracting the btus? I think old-school methods would say add around 30% for pickup, so even if the boiler was 80% efficient, the required input BTU's would be more like (245,700 x 1.3)/0.8 = about 400k btu/hr.

Mike
Mike, I can accept that! We are in the same ballpark. Now what sort of boiler can stoke and then properly burn up to 50 to 55 lbs. of western sub-bit coal per hour? Would the EFM 900 be capable of this?
-Larry

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.

Pacowy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite
Location: Dalton, MA

Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 9:13 pm

I'm not an expert on bituminous coals by any means, but I think the western bituminous coals from Utah and Colorado would be better candidates than western sub-bit. I'd need to dig to get reasonable as-received BTU values to convert to lb/hr - maybe Berlin or someone else has those handy. In general, even if a 900 produced a satisfactory burn with the western bit coal it would likely be running flat out or falling a little behind. Running at the rated input of 35 lb/hr of anthracite, the input BTU's on a 900 max out around (35x12,250x0.9 [to account for 10% unburned] =) 386k btu/hr. Not bad, but it wouldn't hurt to look at something bigger.

Mike

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Berlin
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Post Sun. Oct. 13, 2013 9:14 pm

Larry, a standard hopper feed iron fireman DL-30 or Will-burt S-30 stoker is capable of exceeding 30lbs/hour w/ little effort. In additon, Utah coal is primarily high quality bituminous ranging from 10,000 btu/lb to 13,500btu/lb; it's not all subbit and lignite out there, that's mostly the northwestern plains. Thus the commonly available residential hopper fed stokers will be able to handle a 400,000btu/hour firing rate. The coal feed rate of these bit stokers is restricted more by the size of the firebox they feed into than the rating on the unit; they have ample excess air and feed capacity to fire a good stoker coal at high feed rates more or less continuously, but the fuelbed will grow considerably thicker and wider which requires a large amount of firebox space as the fuel spreads out on the flat brick hearth around the retort.

Dtiongirl, the stoker that I posted a link to (not my video btw, a nepacrossroads member posted that video after finding a stoker just like you should be looking for) is OF the type that you would find on mountain west craigslists from time to time, you just have to keep looking. There are various brands, but typically they are all about 30lbs/hour feed (they can easily exceed that) and are hopper fed, they also do not have the ratcheting drive that you want to avoid.
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.

Pacowy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
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Location: Dalton, MA

Post Mon. Oct. 14, 2013 1:53 am

The evidence from past testing seems to show that Utah bituminous coal burns well in even the smallest of the EFM stokers - Post by rockwood - Utah Bituminous Burning in the EFM DF520 . The bigger EFM's have bigger feed tube I.D.'s that accommodate larger bit coal sizing, and the biggest ones do not have the ratchet drive. Unless/until there is some reason for ruling them out, it seems like they should remain in consideration.

Mike

P.S. By reputation I would also suggest that Motor Stokors not be ruled out prematurely.

Rigar
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
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Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Mon. Oct. 14, 2013 7:35 am

Do these calculations take in account for the pool ?
...and the room the pool is in will need air temps relatively close to pool water temp

...mass wall construction should have its own parameters..but try it with 'good insulation' values- nott poor insulation values

...damation girl
....how many gallons is tbe pool ??
...or at least L x W x depth
....'Rigar

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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)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Mon. Oct. 14, 2013 8:15 am

My calculations only considered home heating. For most of the days of the year only a small fraction of these 400K BTU's would be needed for home heating, and an abundance of excess BTU's would be available for the pool.
-Larry

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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Sting
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Post Mon. Oct. 14, 2013 8:31 am

lsayre wrote:
My gut feeling however (Sting, I'm confident that multiple of your rules are being violated in all of this) is that this would merely establish the upper limit, and an actual heat loss calculation would likely come in below this figure.
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