AHS S130 Installation by Maccoon

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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Stove/Furnace Make: Alternate Heating Systems
Stove/Furnace Model: S-130
Location: Western NY

Post Tue. Dec. 23, 2008 3:51 pm

What a fantastic idea, and elegant too.
A couple questions:
1. does the base auger break up big clinkers well, or do you need to manually "help out"?

2. What size are the augers?

3. What RPM do you drive the augers?

4. Why do you have the insulation board on the boiler end?


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Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
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Post Wed. Dec. 24, 2008 5:30 am

Answers to Questions from Wotseurba:
1. Yes the auger does break up the clinkers. My prototype auger was light gage and the flighting was only tack welded in a few spots along its length. I did fatigue and break. The Haven industries replacement flighting was much more robust and I added more welding along the length where the clinkers get broken up.

2. The flighting is nominal 4" but the OD is closer to 3". I have it running into drain field pipe as the barrel (still in the prototype stage. Yes there was some abrasion but I could not find any 4" steel tubing. I will end up replacing it but the current piece has lasted two years. The cost difference between plastic and steel is staggering.

3. I run the augers at 14 RPM. I found the gear motors on e-bay. They are 115 VAC and tap into the Grate actuation circuit.

4. I insulated both ends because the heat loss there is significant. The stoker is outside and it gets as low as -20°F here in central NY. I could do a better job insulating because there are still some areas where I can feel heat.

The hopper door is hinged so I can peek in there and test the exhaust port ash cone for plugging.


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Post Wed. Dec. 24, 2008 7:43 am

Thanks very much for sharing your engineering & hard work.
I know what I'll be doing on the off-season, as my out-building boiler room is set up perfectly for just such a setup. I also plan to cut a rectangular opening into the boiler base (opposite ashing motor) that will allow removal of ashing plate mechanism. This will be much easier than taking out the cam followers to allow for removal.
I don't mind dumping ashes, and filling the hopper, but I can only get 4 - 5 days without having to do so. I'd like to automate both coal feeding, and ash removal so if I'm away on business for an extended time, automation will take my place.
Happy Holidays

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 6:21 am

Good morning. This is my Coal bin post. ... Fri 7:38 am afterthought ... I should have posted this in the Coal Bin category ... my bad.

Preface; Caveat actor.

Whistelnut, you are correct. The bin volume is cubic yards not cubic feet. The bin dimensions are: 8 foot wide, 5 feet deep, 16 foot long, (23.7 cu yd) and buried 3 feet into the ground. It has a leento roof over it, which is 5 foot tall on the garage side and contacts the top of the bin on the outside wall (11.9 cu yd.) The entire volume is nearly 35 Cu Yd and I fill it to the brim. The boiler is on one end in a 4-foot long space. By now you have guessed the garage is 20 long. The roof structure is designed to be removable for purposes of loading coal. The metal roofing is fixed over the boiler area (2 panels) and remainder is removable.
PIC (1)
Each piece of sheet metal has two rafters and mini perlins. The rafters have birds mouth notches at the top and rest on a ledger fixed to the garage.
PIC (2)
A kicker plate is fixed at the bottom of the rafter and rests against the inside top of the bin outer wall. The panel can't slide off. Each segment of roofing just sits in position ... I don’t tie them down.
PIC (3)
Each section laps the other in normal fashion. The roofing is mounted from left to right. Each end has a trim piece to finish it off. Once every two years I remove the trim piece on the right, lift the bottom edge of the end panel on the right to clear the kicker, and pull outward to slide the rafters off the top ledger. I use some boards as ramps to slide the panel down so I can do it with no help from a second man.
PIC (4)
That panel is set on the side out of the way. The process is repeated. After all 5 panels are setting on the side the bin is completely exposed.
PIC (5)
Note: 5 Pics is a maximum on the post .... I will continue the story in a subsequent post.
Last edited by MacCoon on Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 6:29 am

Continued from Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:21 am ...

From above you may have noticed the bin is 5 foot deep and buried 3 feet into the ground. My goal was to have a dump truck pull in and dump directly into the bin. Who wants to shovel? The 2 foot exposed knee wall happens to be just under the height of a raised box of a tri-axle dump truck with the pivot in far rear position. I have been getting coal from Penn Keystone (23 ton min - see the volume correlation yet?) and it comes on a tractor-trailer that will NOT fit into my yard. So I had to arrange for an offsite dump location and then reload a tri-axle and bring it to the house. It takes 2 tri-axle loads to get it home. I put a tarp down on the ground to catch the spillage. The first load goes nicely into the bin. The second load however does not go into the bin nicely. I would say more than half the load ends up on the ground in front. Okay can you imagine the scene? The bin is over flowing, coal needs to be pushed back against the garage wall and up to the top ledger, and then flattened to contour with the roofline. Again who wants to shovel?
PIC (6)
You’re going to love this. I have a John Deere 455 and it occurred to me that the shaft drive snow blower could move the coal. I tried it and it worked without fragmenting the pea coal.

PIC (7)
Yahoo ... In about fifteen minutes I moved nearly 8 ton right where it needed to be. After a little clean up on the ground I flattened the contour and installed the roof panels.

PIC (8)
What do you think? Any questions?
Please post constructive criticism.


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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 8:05 am

Now that is slick, I like the coalblower too! :)
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 8:51 am

Really slick. I've got coal bin envy. How about adopting me? :D

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 9:05 am

As an engineer, this sort of ingenuity, inventiveness, and practicality just blows me away. It is also spectacularly refreshing to hang out on this group and see that there really are Americans that THINK in this day and age still. After dealing with the rampant idiocy, moral decay, and lack of work ethic that a greater and greater percentage of the general population is exhibiting, being able to see that some people still do indeed have brains and are willing to work hard (and smart) is a good thing!

I vote that we change Brian's official forum name to CoalBlower. There is no question, it absolutely has to be done! :P I'd never have thought in a million years to blow coal.....

So Brian, what did the pea coal sound like going through the blower? I assume that 455 is running a two-stage unit? Must have made a heck of a racket!

Nice work and have fun keeping warm!

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 9:08 am

Seems the optimum word for your system is SLICK!!!
It's interesting that so many of the coal burners on this site come up with so many ideas that are just ingenious.
So having said that, you got my wheels spinning. What if you could find an old conveyer machine like the ones the farmers used to get the hay bails up into the lofts and alter it to handle coal. That way you could dump and load the bin in one operation. On second thought thats not a good idea because you'd have no more use for your new coalblower.

Nice job

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 10:18 am

MacCoon wrote: PIC (7)
Yahoo ... In about fifteen minutes I moved nearly 8 ton right where it needed to be. After a little clean up on the ground I flattened the contour and installed the roof panels.
Just when you thought you have seen it all . That is slick to say the least . :D

You know when people say it was "better back in my day"?

They were right.

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 10:42 am

Ultra cool MacCoon.... "SLICKer" then snot on a marble. ( thats pretty slick too)

I agree about CoalBlower.. :lol:
"Do it Right the First Time" dont leave it for the next guy, as YOU may be the Next guy!!

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 10:50 am

I concur on the CoalBlower!

If I didn't see the picture I wouldn't believe it.

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 11:27 am

Hello, American ingenuity at its best congratulations!!!
Been cooking coal with the Crane for over 30 yrs.

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 12:00 pm

What more can you say ?????

I don't believe I have ever seen or heard of a more automatic operation than that.

I can already hear the gears in Freddy's head a turning. I look forward to hearing about his spring time new project !!

All I can say to Brian or "Coalblower" is :clap: :clap:

You da Man !!!!!! Who'd a ever thunk about using a snowblower. :notworthy: :notworthy:


Master of "Trial and Error."

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Post Fri. Dec. 26, 2008 1:37 pm

Oh come on! I've got tears in my eyes and Pepsi out my nose. When the laughter stopped it registered just how smart an idea it is. I see you wore earphones, but did the neighbors have to also? Arghhhhh!! I can't imagine the sound.... but I'd love to watch & hear. As long as it's not turning pea into rice, why not? *smile*
Orrington, Maine

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