LL AA-220 Max Draft Burn With Power Vent Please Help!

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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blrman07
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.
Location: Girardville Pa.

Post Wed. Mar. 02, 2016 4:54 am

Not a whole lot more tweaking you can do really on the boiler now. Your will be chasing about 8,000 BTU/Hr. Keep in mind this is all seat of the pants figuring.

Assume 75% efficient burn based on their lab rating of the boiler at 150K times a realistic 75% efficiency gives you a real world rating of around 112K possible.

So if you are burning 200# and averaging 104K to a possible max of 112K that is pretty darn good!!!

You are heating a LOT of space. You might get a little bit more efficiency out of the buck but remember coal is coal is coal. No matter the shape or the size it has the same BTU per pound. It's not like wood where the BTU per pound value can vary a lot by species.

Keep in mind that Return On Investment in not only money but time spent chasing that illusive 8K BTU/Hr could be considerable. :shock:

Most of the folks on this forum have a backup system for the stupid cold times and we use it too!!!! You can heat everything comfortable except for that possible week a year where you put on the propane. Your sitting pretty good now from what I can
see!!! I have an oil burner in the basement for hot water heating and domestic water. However we heat the house most of the time with my Vigilant Castings 2310 stove in the dining room. The oil backup is there for times when I get sick for a week or so and can't tend the stove... which has happened the last three winters. Right now we are on the little bucket a day coal fired water heater which is piped so it can heat the house and make all our domestic hot water.

To quote a TV series line with a little modification.....You've done good grasshoppaa :D :D :D
Rev. Larry
Ashland Pa.

1 John 1:9... If we sin and we confess that sin He is faithful and just and will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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Rob R.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
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Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Wed. Mar. 02, 2016 5:18 am

Buck normally has less fines, holds less water, and is often slightly less expensive per ton. I think it would be worth trying in your stokers.

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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
Location: Blissfield, MI

Post Wed. Mar. 02, 2016 5:29 am

Good post blrman, very good information. I really can't complain with the amount of area I am heating and don't mind running the furnace once in a while to help with the load. I know if that boiler was in the basement that there would be no issue with heating the house and would be able to have multiple zones BUT that would add a whole lot more work for me with getting material in and out and at this point I just don't think it would be worth it. Once I get my IBC tote system in place, it will be even better! Could not have got to this point without you guys, I just had to post something because I miss the conversations! And all I have to say now is all good things and everyone likes a happy ending!

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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
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Post Wed. Mar. 02, 2016 5:33 am

Rob R. wrote:Buck normally has less fines, holds less water, and is often slightly less expensive per ton. I think it would be worth trying in your stokers.
Looking forward to trying it. With switching to totes to handle my coal, when I go to pick it up I am thinking about getting 5 ton of rice and 5 of buck. You guys did tell me not to put all my eggs in one basket so this will enable me to get different types in one haul. Plus if my tote stand works like I want, I can switch the totes out for different weather conditions...I remember reading that rice burns better when temps are warmer.

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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
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Post Fri. Mar. 25, 2016 3:44 am

Decided to fire it up this week to burn the rest of my coal before I clean out for the year and found something very interesting........It has not been running for about 3 weeks but has been getting cold at night and I had some coal left. Since it was shut down I switched over to my 40 gallon electric hot water heater. Well fired the unit back up Monday morning and running both stokers so it completely burns everything in the hopper and I am now on day 5 (started with a full hopper) and it is still running! Granted it is not super cold but high 20's/low 30's at night so that's cold enough but I am not burning much coal! Does the hot water heater suck up that much heat to keep it hot? Sure seems like it. I may do some more "testing" next heating season by not running the domestic at startup. I had always thought that once the water heater came up to temp that it would retain that temp due to the insulation and not take anything away from the heat passing through the exchanger but with what I am seeing (real world) that theory is not the case?

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blrman07
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Posts: 2380
Joined: Mon. Sep. 27, 2010 3:39 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.
Location: Girardville Pa.

Post Fri. Mar. 25, 2016 7:11 am

Don't forget to calculate the amount of coal you will burn just to maintain the temp in the boiler. I can't give you exact numbers like some others but I can tell you what it cost me to operate my Yellow Flame boiler during the summer for DHW using an internal coil. We had a Yellow Flame that burned about $35 of coal a month for DHW for four adults. That was with coal being at $160 a ton bulk.

Some time ago I calculated that using an electric hot water heater was a little less but not by much. It came to almost the same amount.

Now my boiler was not nearly as big as your boiler. Remember the amount that they said it would cost just to keep you boiler at temperature assuming no heat draw?

I believe you will see a savings by doing DHW with an electric water heater during the non heating months.

Just my $.02
Rev. Larry
Ashland Pa.

1 John 1:9... If we sin and we confess that sin He is faithful and just and will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
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Post Sun. Nov. 20, 2016 11:28 pm

Well here to report that my power vent has let me down yet again when I really need it. 29* with 30mph Northwest winds to find the boiler at 130* when I got home this morning. I am running one stoker at the moment but the kicker is I have the power vent wide open and I can pressurize the firebox with just a single stoker??? I will be taking the power vent apart in the morning when I get home from work and I sure hope the fan blades have build up on them that is causing the lack of flow? The part that really hurts is that I am only heating my domestic hot water and the coil in the house furnace duct. Usually I'm running the garage Modine also but I am not even circulating water through that loop. I am forced to run the propane furnace with the boiler to keep boiler temps where they should be so the family can take hot showers.....the nice part when running both is that my register air temps are 148* close to the furnace and 128* at the furthest point! Report back when I do some disassembly....

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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 Mon. Nov. 21, 2016 5:05 am

I am not sure that the expectation should be that you can run those blowers wide open. At one time LL switched to a higher output blower to overcome situations where the coal had a lot of fines, or the coal was on the small size and packed tightly. You have nice and clean rice coal, so the blowers likely need to have the cover 50% closed, maybe more.

Regardless, it is that time of a year - light the second stoker.

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swyman
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Post Mon. Nov. 21, 2016 5:48 am

Rob R. wrote:
Regardless, it is that time of a year - light the second stoker.
That is true, I guess I can try that and see what happens. I am going to shut the power vent down and do a quick check and oil the motor....been meaning to do it but too lazy! Will the coal make that much difference between different brands/quality? One more question I'm trying to figure out if there is a correct answer.... Is 2 smaller fires hotter than one large fire if both are limited to draft in same chamber?

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11366
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 Mon. Nov. 21, 2016 7:37 am

I think 2 fires would easily outperform one. For one thing, you are probably sucking air through the unused stoker. Also, by using both stokers you can slow the feed down and adjust the air to get a very efficient fire.

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swyman
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Post Mon. Nov. 21, 2016 11:10 am

Rob R. wrote:I think 2 fires would easily outperform one. For one thing, you are probably sucking air through the unused stoker. Also, by using both stokers you can slow the feed down and adjust the air to get a very efficient fire.
I shut off the gate on the other stoker fan as much as possible but I was glad to see that the fan was full of ash dust on the outside! I cleaned everything on the inside but I didn't take anything apart outside to inspect and thankfully it was pretty much packed full of dust. Today is still fairly cold and windy so I have elected not to start the other stoker since it is going to warm up again in the coming days. I will light the other stoker this weekend and like you said I can slow the stokers down and get that pretty blue flame! Thanks for input, I probably would have left it alone for a while but am probably better off just getting both going.

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swyman
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Post Tue. Nov. 22, 2016 12:01 am

Ok Rob, since cleaning out the fan side of the PV I found an interesting discovery that is right along with what you said.....I had turned up the single stoker since I could satisfy and maintain the correct over fire draft and let it run today. Tonight upon checking my fire I noticed the ash pan was full of coal and my coal depth on the stoker bed tapered to nothing out on the end. The stoker blower was open about 65-70% and blowing the coal off the bed. I think the optimum burn rate is to keep the bed full which is about 2" deep and as close to the end as possible which I seem I have trouble doing. I am either dropping hot's off the bed or there is 2-3" of ash before dropping in pan. More things I'll have to fine tune and have learned that it changes as demand for heat fluctuates as in the case when I get a lot of wind. Wind is my killer, tonight it's 25*, no wind and the boiler is idling with a single stoker. I hope when my addition gets finished and sealed up that my heat calls will be more consistent. I think I will just start that 2nd stoker as directed and adjust to the weather!

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11366
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 Tue. Nov. 22, 2016 5:11 am

Make small adjustments. Eventually you should be able to leave it alone. :)

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