Rice instead of Buck in my Van Wert

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mjm4jc
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Post by mjm4jc » Fri. Feb. 16, 2024 9:01 pm

Hello everyone,
So my coal guy accidentally delivered me 3 tons of rice coal instead of buck for my VA-600. I heard of some guys using rice, but wasn't sure what was changed to make it work. So rather than have him dig out 3 tons of rice coal, I told him to leave it, and that I would at least try it and see how it burns. To my surprise, it's burning fairly well. My ashes are pretty much the same as when I burned buck. Since I burn rice coal in my Alaskan Kodiak out in the garage, I'm wondering if I can just stick with the rice coal, and then I won't have two have two different sizes of coal delivered in the future. Please advise.
Thanks,
Mike

 
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anthony7812
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Post by anthony7812 » Sat. Feb. 17, 2024 9:11 am

I burned rice for maybe 4 years in my van wert va400. I increased the air inlet a bit to reduce the unburnt coal I seen. It's wasn't by much, maybe bumped it to 7 or 8 vs the 3/4. I did have a bit more fly ash but not enough to give a darn about. I didn't notice any significant consumption. If you can get buck cheaper it makes sense. However, if rice works for your needs, you have nothing to worry about. Maybe an extra in-depth cleaning mid season at most.

 
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StokerDon
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Post by StokerDon » Sat. Feb. 17, 2024 9:35 am

mjm4jc wrote:
Fri. Feb. 16, 2024 9:01 pm
I heard of some guys using rice, but wasn't sure what was changed to make it work.
I've had a VA-600 since 2017. There are no coal suppliers in my area that will carry Buck so I have always used Rice and it works fine.

A couple things you need to be aware of though.
1) Changing to a smaller coal size in an auger fed stoker increases the feed rate. In this case by about 25%. If you have the stock size motor pulley and pot auger sprocket you are going from 18 pounds per hour to 22.5 pounds per hour. That is probably way more than you need.
2) Because you are pushing 25% more material, the augers and pipes will ware out 25% faster.

-Don


 
mjm4jc
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Post by mjm4jc » Sat. Feb. 17, 2024 3:43 pm

anthony7812 wrote:
Sat. Feb. 17, 2024 9:11 am
I burned rice for maybe 4 years in my van wert va400. I increased the air inlet a bit to reduce the unburnt coal I seen. It's wasn't by much, maybe bumped it to 7 or 8 vs the 3/4. I did have a bit more fly ash but not enough to give a darn about. I didn't notice any significant consumption. If you can get buck cheaper it makes sense. However, if rice works for your needs, you have nothing to worry about. Maybe an extra in-depth cleaning mid season at most.
Thanks Anthony!

 
ben
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Post by ben » Mon. Feb. 19, 2024 7:07 am

My coal hauler said once that today's rice coal is much larger than what it was years ago. I use rice in my EFM.

 
mjm4jc
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Post by mjm4jc » Wed. Feb. 21, 2024 7:26 pm

It's so tiny as it is. Can't imagine it being any smaller. lol!


 
mjm4jc
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Post by mjm4jc » Wed. Feb. 21, 2024 7:30 pm

StokerDon wrote:
Sat. Feb. 17, 2024 9:35 am
I've had a VA-600 since 2017. There are no coal suppliers in my area that will carry Buck so I have always used Rice and it works fine.

A couple things you need to be aware of though.
1) Changing to a smaller coal size in an auger fed stoker increases the feed rate. In this case by about 25%. If you have the stock size motor pulley and pot auger sprocket you are going from 18 pounds per hour to 22.5 pounds per hour. That is probably way more than you need.
2) Because you are pushing 25% more material, the augers and pipes will ware out 25% faster.

-Don

On my VA-600, the motor pulley is 3" and the gear box sprocket looks like 4". I'm pretty sure that the manual for the VA-600 shows that the motor pulley should be 4"???? I did buy a new motor for it at a reputable electric motor shop. They put a new pulley on. Maybe they got it wrong, and I never noticed.

 
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Thu. Feb. 22, 2024 8:58 am

ben wrote:
Mon. Feb. 19, 2024 7:07 am
My coal hauler said once that today's rice coal is much larger than what it was years ago. I use rice in my EFM.
That might be true for a particular supplier, but the size specification has remained the same.

The rice I am burning right now has plenty of small stuff in it.

 
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Thu. Feb. 22, 2024 9:03 am

StokerDon wrote:
Sat. Feb. 17, 2024 9:35 am
I've had a VA-600 since 2017. There are no coal suppliers in my area that will carry Buck so I have always used Rice and it works fine.

A couple things you need to be aware of though.
1) Changing to a smaller coal size in an auger fed stoker increases the feed rate. In this case by about 25%. If you have the stock size motor pulley and pot auger sprocket you are going from 18 pounds per hour to 22.5 pounds per hour. That is probably way more than you need.
2) Because you are pushing 25% more material, the augers and pipes will ware out 25% faster.

-Don
I have experimented with different feed rates in my EFM. I agree with trying to get the feed rate appropriately matched to the heat load as it will save you some coal, but I am not sure about the second point. With a higher feed rate the stoker runs less. There are more stops and starts on the motor, but at the end of the day the auger will turn roughly the same amount (aside from any difference in efficiency).

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