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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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StokerDon
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Posts: 3252
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Mon. May. 22, 2017 7:34 pm

unhippy wrote:With the smaller size coal i could squat down gopnik style with my knees touching the ash door and watch the fire for as long as i wanted with no problem's....doing the same thing now is quite uncomfortable after a very short period of time due to the heat radiating out of the fire door opening.
Sounds like you need to get some insulation on the inside of that fire door. It's amazing how much hotter some coal "feels" when it's burning in the boiler.

Didn't they give you a bunch of sheer pins with the new stoker?

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Tue. May. 23, 2017 7:55 am

lsayre wrote:
I live in a semi rural area. A mix of residential and scattered farms. Thereby, I worry about burning bit and causing issues with neighbors due to smoke and odor. How well does your system mitigate these issues? Locally sourced bituminous would cost 50% to perhaps 65% less for me than does clean burning anthracite.
I live in town (my nearest neighbor is around 50 yards away but down wind) so smoke is a problem....however the stoker doesn't smoke when its running and when it stops the amount of smoke it puts out is minimal and it trails off to almost nothing after about 10 minutes....that same neighbor has a mega-dollar ultra-clean burning gasifying wood burner and good dry wood and when he starts it or refills it he puts out far far more smoke than my boiler does when it cycles off

i do have an electrical control system thought up that would allow a 2 stage firing setup....with the second stage being just enough air and coal feed to keep a gentle flame a couple of inches high going on the fire pot...just enough that it would burn any smoke emissions but not enough to heat the boiler up unless there was zero heat being taken off the heating system....and a second aquastat would be required that would shut off the stoker entirely if the temperature got too high
StokerDon wrote: Sounds like you need to get some insulation on the inside of that fire door. It's amazing how much hotter some coal "feels" when it's burning in the boiler.

Didn't they give you a bunch of sheer pins with the new stoker?

-Don
My door has a ceramic fiber board type insulation that is stood off from the door about an inch plus 2" of high temp foam insulation on the outside.....my main problem is that i keep opening the door and sticking my face at the opening to see whats doing inside :D

In Russia, you give sheer pins to them.....well i know my stoker is Polish.... but the same rules apply :lol:

The shear pin for this one is a 5mmx45mm grade 8.8 bolt...an off the shelf item at any specialist fastening supplier locally....i just haven't managed to get to one yet...every time i get a day that looks like i will be able to nick off from work a bit early someone comes in with an urgent job 5 minutes before i was going to run away :x

Callum
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Wed. May. 24, 2017 3:06 am

Still playing with getting my stoker settings right.

I just reversed the blower/stoker cycle sequence, now it's :blower&stoker feed on for 30 seconds then blower only for 35 seconds....repeat until aquastat is happy.

It was set to be blower only for a start...but the fire in the pot was looking 'hollow' for the first 4 or 5 cycles after the aquastat called for heat.

Pot now looks good after 2 cycles.

Callum
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3252
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Wed. May. 24, 2017 8:06 pm

Hollow is not good, that means your fire is burning down to the bottom of the pot. Having the fire down there can damage the cast iron parts. I'm not sure how your stoker works but it seems like a real good idea to feed coal and run the blower on the first part of the cycle. This will feed fresh coal up from the bottom pushing the fire upward in the pot.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Thu. May. 25, 2017 3:31 am

Yeah i remember someone on here talking about what can happen if your fire runs too low in the pot.....altho due to the way my stoker is constructed some of what was described doesn't apply to me....however....the bit about tuyere rings warping really got my attention....it doesn't matter what sort of underfeed stoker you have, that would ruin your day.

Callum
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Tue. Jun. 13, 2017 7:03 am

Well everything seems to be working well....as i write this its windy and trying to snow outside and i'm inside in a tee shirt, and every internal door in the house is open :D ....and the boiler has barely altered in its firing cycle time's....it's still using about 3 buckets+/- of coal a day....altho i expect this to increase to 4 as the winter arrives properly.

I've shorten'd stoker feed time back a few seconds to 27 seconds on and 40 seconds off.....at a feed rate of 30 seconds on it was starting to push still burning coal over the end of the pot if i forced a longer than normal run time by turning the stoker off until the water temperature fell way below the normal cut in temperature....i did this to simulate the boiler being run harder during the coldest parts of winter.

At 27 seconds on the fire looks good and there is only ash and clinkers going over the side irrespective of how long it runs for...its amazing how much difference a small adjustment makes

I'm seriously considering getting an hour meter to put on the stoker motor to help fine tune the most efficient setting.

Callum
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

lzaharis
Member
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sun. Mar. 25, 2007 8:41 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-4-1 dual fuel boiler
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: kerosene for dual fuel Keystoker
Location: Ithaca, New York

Post Tue. Jun. 13, 2017 1:00 pm

Hello Callum,


It sounds as if your work has been worth the effort except for the suppliers providing you with the wrong fitters tape
as I know the vacuum steam system would have worked perfectly. GGGGRRRRRRR, HHHHHIIIIISSS, SPIIIIT.

I hope the newest member of the family is tolerating living and sleeping upside down in OZ as we speak. My friends in Australia always get upset when they are drinking milk or adult beverages. It always manages to spill out on the other side of the Manhattan glass during the cocktail hour or the milk glass at dinner haha. I would never let that happen with good Manhattan by using a sippy cup haha

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McGiever
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Posts: 5997
Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
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 Tue. Jun. 13, 2017 5:59 pm

Hello Callum,


It would be interesting to the lot of us who burn anthracite in a stoker to see a photo of your bit stoker outside chimney exhausting. :)
drunk.gif
drunk.gif (13.76 KiB) Viewed 470 times

I, myself, would consider giving a bit stoker a try here if it didn't belch yellow/gray/black smoke like I've seen the hand-fired do here.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

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StokerDon
Site Moderator
Posts: 3252
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Tue. Jun. 13, 2017 6:47 pm

unhippy wrote:Well everything seems to be working well....as i write this its windy and trying to snow outside and i'm inside in a tee shirt, and every internal door in the house is open :D
That's really what this is all about. Being in your shorts, in your house, in the middle of Winter and not paying a fortune in fuel cost!
unhippy wrote:it's still using about 3 buckets+/- of coal a day
I would think that is very good fuel mileage for sub-bit coal.
unhippy wrote:I've shorten'd stoker feed time back a few seconds to 27 seconds on and 40 seconds off.....at a feed rate of 30 seconds on it was starting to push still burning coal over the end of the pot if i forced a longer than normal run time by turning the stoker off until the water temperature fell way below the normal cut in temperature....i did this to simulate the boiler being run harder during the coldest parts of winter.
That sounds like a good test. It's a good idea to push the feed rate to the limit, then back it off like you did.
unhippy wrote:I'm seriously considering getting an hour meter to put on the stoker motor to help fine tune the most efficient setting.
That right there is a real good idea!

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Wed. Jun. 14, 2017 5:11 am

McGiever wrote:Hello Callum,


It would be interesting to the lot of us who burn anthracite in a stoker to see a photo of your bit stoker outside chimney exhausting. :)
drunk.gif

I, myself, would consider giving a bit stoker a try here if it didn't belch yellow/gray/black smoke like I've seen the hand-fired do here.
Getting that on film to put on here is on my to do list.....it will have to wait until the weekend as its pretty dark by the time i get home at night.....

But in short if you have the exhaust plume back-grounded against the sky you can't see it.....if you have it back-grounded against a dark background like conifer trees you can just make out the faint blue haze of the smoke stream.

It will put out a puff at the start of the cycle until the flame lights off....maybe 20 seconds worth

The time it smokes the most is at the start of the off cycle....then i get a slight white/light grey trail of smoke reducing to nothing after about 10 minutes.....nothing like the smoke output of a bit-coal handfired even in the hands of someone that really knows their stuff.
StokerDon wrote:
unhippy wrote:Well everything seems to be working well....as i write this its windy and trying to snow outside and i'm inside in a tee shirt, and every internal door in the house is open :D
That's really what this is all about. Being in your shorts, in your house, in the middle of Winter and not paying a fortune in fuel cost!-Don
Its called......WINNING!!!!!
StokerDon wrote:
unhippy wrote:it's still using about 3 buckets+/- of coal a day
I would think that is very good fuel mileage for sub-bit coal.-Don
Yeah i thought so....considering the coal i'm burning is only about 8000btu/lb......not the 12 to 13k btu/lb coal that some on here are burning.

Callum
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Wed. Jun. 14, 2017 5:14 am

double post
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Sun. Jun. 18, 2017 4:04 am

I've been slowly reducing the stoker run time....as long as the burning coal has been coming up above the top of the ash ring, i then turn it down 1 second and let it run for a day before deciding whether to turn it down again.

Its now down to 21 seconds on, 40 seconds off and i think thats about as far as i think i can go as the fire is now coming up level with the top of the ash ring but not rising over it....the ash ring is about an inch deep on the tuyre.

It doesn't seem to be running any longer to satisfy the aquastat at this setting either....also is using less coal as well....which bodes the question as to where was the extra coal was going :?: ....i suspect i have been unknowingly assisting with global warming directly.

Callum
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

User avatar
StokerDon
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Posts: 3252
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Jun. 18, 2017 7:28 pm

unhippy wrote:I've been slowly reducing the stoker run time....as long as the burning coal has been coming up above the top of the ash ring, i then turn it down 1 second and let it run for a day before deciding whether to turn it down again.
That's a good idea to wait at least a day after a feed rate adjustment and see what the fire looks like.
unhippy wrote:where was the extra coal was going :?: ....i suspect i have been unknowingly assisting with global warming directly.
I'm tell'in Al Gore!
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

Pacowy
Member
Posts: 2732
Joined: Tue. Sep. 04, 2007 10:14 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite
Location: Dalton, MA

Post Mon. Jun. 19, 2017 11:07 am

If you want a detailed discussion of stoker and boiler efficiency under different feed and air settings, the US EPA, before it went off the rails, produced this fairly interesting reference:

https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/2000BE2G.TXT?ZyActionD=Z ... e=x&ZyPURL .

If you want simpler rules of thumb, I would suggest starting with the following:

- set feed rate slightly above the level needed to satisfy the attached load (accounting for unburned coal, boiler efficiency and distribution losses);
- set air at level that, when the unit has been running long enough to reach a steady state (30-45 min?), results in formation of a visible border between ash and burning coal at the "last" or "outermost" point where combustion air is added; and,
- run holdfire timer as needed to keep it going.

These are distilled from guidance provided by various anthracite stoker mfgrs. With different coal and equipment, "your results may vary", but you probably should consider the underlying principles.

Mike

unhippy
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon. Dec. 27, 2010 1:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: MK2 #1
Stove/Furnace Make: Homemade Thermo Carbon Reactor
Stove/Furnace Model: MK1 #2
Location: New Zealand

Post Tue. Jun. 20, 2017 6:34 am

Pacowy wrote:
If you want simpler rules of thumb, I would suggest starting with the following:

- set feed rate slightly above the level needed to satisfy the attached load (accounting for unburned coal, boiler efficiency and distribution losses);
- set air at level that, when the unit has been running long enough to reach a steady state (30-45 min?), results in formation of a visible border between ash and burning coal at the "last" or "outermost" point where combustion air is added; and,
- run holdfire timer as needed to keep it going.

These are distilled from guidance provided by various anthracite stoker mfgrs. With different coal and equipment, "your results may vary", but you probably should consider the underlying principles.

Mike
Thats pretty much exactly how its set at the moment....running on sub-bit it reach's steady state about 8 to 10 minutes into the 'on' cycle (once i have the ash/clinker ring fully formed, which takes about a weeks running).

Lol i have no holdfire timer....my stoker will hold a fire for 24 hours at least...early on i ran it for a couple of weeks then shut it down to alter some things...fast forward 24hrs and i turned the stoker back on to bring the coal up to the top of the pot so i could light it with my gas torch....i figured it would take 10 minutes or so and went to make a cup of tea....came back outside with cup of tea in hand and there was flames coming up out of the still only half full pot ....
The repeat cycle timer that i was going to use as my holdfire timer is now a spare stoker duty cycle timer.

That EPA paper is interesting tho....somewhere on one of my old laptops i have an almost identical one written by the British Coal Board in about the same era.

Callum
Galileo - Great mind.
Newton - Genius mind.
Einstein - Extraordinary mind
Me - Never mind.

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