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-   -   Coal furnace (https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=5554)

oil pan 4 12-01-17 08:49 PM

Coal furnace
 
Tractor supply has their coal furnaces on clearance.
So I bought one.
They have 2 different sizes. The not so large one holds 50lb of coal and has 1 blower, the full size one holds 70lb of coal and has 2 blowers.
I went with the bigger furnace with 2 blowers.
Just because it's a coal furnace doesn't mean you have to only burn coal, I don't have a regular source of coal. Although I would like to roll coal on the cold nights. Some tractor supply stores sell coal and the one here says they can get it, special seasonal order.

oil pan 4 12-02-17 04:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Picking it up today. I don't know how much it weighs but it's heavy. My guess is around 300lb with all the blowers and fire brick in there.
Pictures

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1512250780

Tractor supply said they are going to order me some nut size coal.
They really want to get rid of these, I paid 750 for the larger size one.

oil pan 4 12-19-17 07:44 AM

It's going to get down to -0F this weekend. Wish I had some coal. At those temperatures the heat pumps installed in our house are useless, they become electric heaters.

Mikesolar 12-24-17 09:02 AM

Ummmm, coal is not very ECO, last time I checked. What are you going to do with it?

oil pan 4 12-24-17 10:27 AM

Obviously use the coal for home heating. Also since I now now how difficult it is to get coal around these parts I am going to sell the bags of coal on Craigslist for up to 4x what I am going to pay for it.
Nearly half of all power generated comes from coal, boiler fired power plants are no more than 40% efficient.
Burning coal at the point of use for heat should be at least 70% efficient on a bad day.
How is that not eco friendly?
All I'm doing is cutting out the power company and not feeling guilty about it.
Everyone except for the guys generating all their power off grid with solar, wind, hydro are using coal. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean you aren't using it.
Use natural gas for heat? that's real environmentally friendly. Then you support fracking, doesn't matter what you think or say on the subject, actions speak louder....
Plus natural gas generates a good size portion of our electricity.

From an economics standpoint bagged coal per BTU is about double cost of natural gas. If all I did was take a years worth of natural gas surcharges alone I could buy 3000lb of coal. Or 36 million BTU, which is around $200 worth of actual gas consumption.
Bulk coal from what little I can find on the subject should cost around the same or less than natural gas per BTU.

I'm mostly buring unwanted and dead trees trees for fire wood, new construction lumber scraps, renovation waste wood, stuff that normally goes to a land fill. I'm not just buring coal all the time. I mainly bought a coal furnace because they are more heavily constructed and can take more heat. The fact that it can burn coal is secondary, plus the coal furnace was cheaper than the wood furnaces by a lot since it was a steeply discounted clearance item.

elhigh 12-24-17 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 57645)

I'm mostly buring unwanted and dead trees trees for fire wood, new construction lumber scraps, renovation waste wood, stuff that normally goes to a land fill. I'm not just buring coal all the time. I mainly bought a coal furnace because they are more heavily constructed and can take more heat. The fact that it can burn coal is secondary, plus the coal furnace was cheaper than the wood furnaces by a lot since it was a steeply discounted clearance item.

Came here to say this. Coal furnace will let you burn wood when you have it. Can't do that with a natural gas furnace, and neither coal nor firewood require special containment or present an explosion risk. You can stockpile both as time, energy and funds permit - again, not really an option with gas or propane. Gas is all or nothing plus a delivery charge, wood and coal are you and your truck (or in my case, 200 lbs of pellets at a time in the back of a Honda Civic). If it's already on the way home the added cost of picking up the fuel may be negligible.

One thought: I've never had any trouble burning pellets in the wood stove, I wonder if you could adapt the coal furnace to that fuel. That would give you tremendous flexibility.

oil pan 4 12-24-17 03:26 PM

Wood pellets in the coal furnace?
I'll try it.
The way the coal furnace is designed it funnels all the ash down to the ash tray. The ash funnel chamber can be opened to allow some air to flow up through the coals from the very bottom. In theory allowing a good wood pellet burn.

I have some propane stored. A pair of 40lb tanks to power the gas dryer (summer only use) and 2 IR single element 9k to 12k BTU heaters. Each heater should run 3 straight days on low from a full tank, maybe a little longer.
To go from new to full on a singe 40lb tank costs about $130.
That's only 800k BTU. Less than the heating value of two $5 bags of coal.

My small trailer is good for 2,500lb and has a brake axle. So I could haul a lot of coal, wood pellet, choped wood and so on.
On a car tongue weight is my limiting factor, on the suburban, 500lb of tongue weight and it doesn't even notice.

Mikesolar 12-24-17 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 57645)
Obviously use the coal for home heating. Also since I now now how difficult it is to get coal around these parts I am going to sell the bags of coal on Craigslist for up to 4x what I am going to pay for it.
Nearly half of all power generated comes from coal, boiler fired power plants are no more than 40% efficient.
Burning coal at the point of use for heat should be at least 70% efficient on a bad day.
How is that not eco friendly?
All I'm doing is cutting out the power company and not feeling guilty about it.
Everyone except for the guys generating all their power off grid with solar, wind, hydro are using coal. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean you aren't using it.
Use natural gas for heat? that's real environmentally friendly. Then you support fracking, doesn't matter what you think or say on the subject, actions speak louder....
Plus natural gas generates a good size portion of our electricity.

From an economics standpoint bagged coal per BTU is about double cost of natural gas. If all I did was take a years worth of natural gas surcharges alone I could buy 3000lb of coal. Or 36 million BTU, which is around $200 worth of actual gas consumption.
Bulk coal from what little I can find on the subject should cost around the same or less than natural gas per BTU.

I'm mostly buring unwanted and dead trees trees for fire wood, new construction lumber scraps, renovation waste wood, stuff that normally goes to a land fill. I'm not just buring coal all the time. I mainly bought a coal furnace because they are more heavily constructed and can take more heat. The fact that it can burn coal is secondary, plus the coal furnace was cheaper than the wood furnaces by a lot since it was a steeply discounted clearance item.

The whole London Fog was coal smog, not fog. Whether locally burned or in a big plant, it emits by far, the most CO2 of all the fuels and it doesn't matter what the efficiency is. If there is a way to scrub the particulate out, it's better but everyone wants to reduce coal burning in power plants which is why more and more are being switched over to gas. I think it is fine to burn the wood, I've done it too, in a 96% masonry stove. Besides, anytime I can kick the Koch bros in the gonads, I will, lol

oil pan 4 12-24-17 08:38 PM

Buring coal isn't for everyone or every place.
Where I am there is 0 smog. It's flat and windy all the time.
I plan to burn mostly wood by far. Only burn coal on the 0F nights that were for casted for this weekend, but didn't get.
Plus high grade coal has almost no sulfur.

oil pan 4 12-28-17 06:14 PM

Well it looks like I am in a coalless hole.
Nearest place to the west is about 8 hours away. Mckinley mine and San Juan coal mine both sell to any one who wants to come get some.
Tractor supply won't ship coal.
The nearest coal dealer in texas, a coal supply is about 4hr away.

oil pan 4 12-30-17 12:05 AM

The blowers draw 1.7 amps each.

Daox 12-30-17 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 57747)
Well it looks like I am in a coalless hole.
Nearest place to the west is about 8 hours away. Mckinley mine and San Juan coal mine both sell to any one who wants to come get some.
Tractor supply won't ship coal.
The nearest coal dealer in texas, a coal supply is about 4hr away.

So, wood it is then?

oil pan 4 12-30-17 09:35 AM

The plan was always to mostly burn wood, something to the tune of around 98% of the time.
The nearest place that sells coal was is Sweetwater texas. I used to travel through there for work once a month but not any more.
The only chance I will have to get some will be when we visit family even further away.
I could get some tractor supply coal bit I would have to pay shipping and that would at least double the price, I don't need it that bad.
My main problem is there aren't an unlimited number of trees around here like in a lot of the US.

jeff5may 12-31-17 03:36 PM

Reckons to me like the revenuers done cut off u're supply. Dag gum sum bucks.

Xringer 01-01-18 12:21 AM

I burned coal in my multi-fuel HS Tarm boiler for a while. It was a PITB to haul it home.
At the time, I used my little Subaru 1978 4x4 wagon (The Brat pickup with a station wagon body).
Fold down the back seat and shoveled it in.. No bags of coal around here!

One thing I learned the hard way, is that setting up for an overnight burn, must be done very carefully.
At least with the HS Tarm. I only had one over-heat (3AM) and that was lesson.
Wood is easier to control, the auto air control works great with wood.
I only did a few carloads of coal before I gave it up..
Over the years, I gave up wood too. Been trying to give up oil..
But, this dang global warming has me burning oil again this winter..
Using flow-thur hot-water heat for about a week solid now..
It's 3 now and going to -3 in a few hours.. :eek:

The -20F Gree is working pretty well so far. I just shut down the Sanyo..
Another -20F Gree might be my next home heating investment..

Happy New Year!!
Rich

oil pan 4 01-03-18 06:43 AM

At some point I will venture out to tolk power station in earth Texas.
Got a tip that they sell, more like practicality give away their fly ash.
Fly ash makes great low permeability concrete, i will need that for the rain water water cistern I want to build that could hold as much as 30 tons of water.

While I'm there I could see if they would sell some of their coal.
They only use low sulfur powder river basen coal, which is pretty good stuff.

Xringer 01-03-18 09:33 AM

Looks like they have a mountain of coal, with a line of train cars delivering more..
At least in this picture.. Google Earth or facetime is how I get to see Texas these days...
https://www.google.com/maps/place/34%C2%B011'19.8%22N+102%C2%B034'24.5%22W/@34.1888304,-102.5756547,704m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m9!1m2!2m1!1stolk+power+station +Earth+Tx!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d34.1888259!4d-102.5734655

elhigh 01-25-18 09:33 AM

Oil Pan, if you're in NM don't you get a lot of wintertime sun? Is solar heat off the table?

oil pan 4 01-25-18 07:46 PM

Solar heat doesn't work so well at night.
It also can get brutal cold, so far the worst was a week of -10F nights.

Elcam84 01-26-18 04:09 PM

Good deal on the heater. Coal is very eco as in economical to heat with that is if you have it available. Some areas you can only find it from blacksmithing suppliers but even blacksmithing has converted to propane in most small shops. It cost much more but it's more convenient than coal.
I love the smell of burning coal. I would love to be an engineer on a steam locomotive....

oil pan 4 01-26-18 06:27 PM

Yeah coal, depending on how you get it can be cheaper than natural gas.

oil pan 4 03-16-18 11:32 PM

The snow-pocalypse in the north east reenforces the need to have a good fuel reserve on hand.
Wood, coal, lpg, wood pellet reserves.
I switched over to use more LPG to conserve wood this year, it hasn't been exceptionally cold, just the cold just won't leave, you think it's done and surprise another hard freeze.

Xringer 03-17-18 12:23 AM

The next few days here are going to have lows down in the low teens.
I hope that 10F is going to be the lowest. (So I can leave the old Sanyo running).
Next Tuesday, the lows will be in the 20s again.. Warmish.. ;)

Here you go, hit play, watch Boston and be horrified.. ;)
https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/anal...018031700&fh=0

u3b3rg33k 05-13-18 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 58402)
Solar heat doesn't work so well at night.
It also can get brutal cold, so far the worst was a week of -10F nights.

Ever thought of thermal storage?

oil pan 4 05-13-18 07:12 PM

To use thermal storage for home heating it would have to be part of a much larger and more complex liquid heating setup.

u3b3rg33k 05-14-18 01:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 59144)
To use thermal storage for home heating it would have to be part of a much larger and more complex liquid heating setup.

a big tank full of water, some insulation, a heat source and a radiator?

heck, you might as well start a power plant. gotta find a way to break even on those transportation costs!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xringer (Post 57915)
I burned coal in my multi-fuel HS Tarm boiler for a while. It was a PITB to haul it home.
At the time, I used my little Subaru 1978 4x4 wagon (The Brat pickup with a station wagon body).
Fold down the back seat and shoveled it in.. No bags of coal around here!

One thing I learned the hard way, is that setting up for an overnight burn, must be done very carefully.
At least with the HS Tarm. I only had one over-heat (3AM) and that was lesson.
Wood is easier to control, the auto air control works great with wood.
I only did a few carloads of coal before I gave it up..
Over the years, I gave up wood too. Been trying to give up oil..
But, this dang global warming has me burning oil again this winter..
Using flow-thur hot-water heat for about a week solid now..
It's 3 now and going to -3 in a few hours.. :eek:

The -20F Gree is working pretty well so far. I just shut down the Sanyo..
Another -20F Gree might be my next home heating investment..

Happy New Year!!
Rich

are they seriously good down to -20F? asking for my garage...

oil pan 4 05-14-18 02:21 AM

A radiator is only going to heat one room I would need them all over the house.
To heat the house over night I would probably need around 30,000 btu per hour for 8 hours, or 240,000 btu. Let's say I had a tank of water and was able to heat it to 140F and then drop the water down to 120F before the sun came up.
To store 240,000 btu with a 20F drop I would need a 1,400 gallon tank of water that's roughly a 8x8x16 tank of water, a big tank or a small swimming pool.
So no.
Fire better.

u3b3rg33k 05-14-18 06:57 PM

does your house have forced air? if so, you only need one coil. if not, what method of heating do you currently have?

also, phase change wax could significantly reduce the volume you need to store. I've yet to look into price on that stuff, so no idea what it costs.

pinballlooking 05-14-18 07:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Something like this I used one in my greenhouse for a while.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/16x18-Water...8AAOSwfl9XA7qy

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1526340169

oil pan 4 10-19-18 03:22 PM

I have another lead I'm going to try on getting coal.
NM also went more than a week with overcast skys, I didn't even think that was possible.
Longest I had seen before that was 3 or 4 days.

Quote:

Originally Posted by u3b3rg33k (Post 59149)
does your house have forced air? if so, you only need one coil. if not, what method of heating do you currently have?

also, phase change wax could significantly reduce the volume you need to store. I've yet to look into price on that stuff, so no idea what it costs.

Actually daox did some calculations on this and it only reduces size by around 20%. It would be easier and cheaper just to build a water system 20% bigger.

u3b3rg33k 10-19-18 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 59927)
I have another lead I'm going to try on getting coal.
NM also went more than a week with overcast skys, I didn't even think that was possible.
Longest I had seen before that was 3 or 4 days.



Actually daox did some calculations on this and it only reduces size by around 20%. It would be easier and cheaper just to build a water system 20% bigger.

i'd love to see those just for fun. i haven't run them myself because i wasn't planning to build anything any time soon.

oil pan 4 11-15-18 04:06 PM

My family is coming to visit. They asked what I wanted for Christmas and I said coal.
Of their 2 vehicles a VW that is useless in snow and ice and a f250 I know they would bring the truck.
They said they would load it up with as much coal as they are comfortable hauling which will be at least 1,500 pounds and haul it out here for Christmas.

I'm still going to go to the power plant and see if I can get my own coal. Then I will just pick another Christmas present.

pinballlooking 11-15-18 04:42 PM

When I was a kid my parents always threatened me with coal for Xmas if I did not get along with my sister.
Wow you are actually getting coal for Xmas.:D

oil pan 4 11-15-18 09:15 PM

I was bad.


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