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Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby ldomash » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:19 pm

The Eagle Husky is primarily designed to burn wood - coal fire boxes are typically taller and narrower. However, I have burned coal successfully. The advantage of coal is a longer burn, more than 12 hours instead of 4-5 with wood. The disadvantage is a much greater volume of ash to be removed, 20 times more than wood, and it's toxic - you can't throw it on the garden. So you must have a place to get rid of large amounts of coal ash.

My procedure is as follows. Fill the fire box with a full 50 lb sack of nut coal and spread evenly. Now place a few pieces of wood on top of that. Use the oil burner just long enough to light up the wood, which in turn will light up the coal as it burns down. (Lighting a coal fire from the top is actually the correct way.)

That's all - easy and reliable to light a coal fire this way.

About cost: In my area, wood (cut split and delivered) is about $200/cord and nut coal is about $320/ton. At these prices, the cost of burning wood and coal are roughly comparable.

Questions:

It is not clear if the secondary burn air inlet (the rotating disk) should be open or closed for coal.

I have read that burning of both oil and coal in the same flue creates strange chemistry in the creosote, but my flue does not accumulate much creosote in any case, so I have not confirmed this.
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Keith Nelson » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:59 pm

When burning solid fuel the air disc should be open to burn gases(smoke).
When liquid fuel is burning for primary heats the disc should be closed as you'll gain a few percent in efficiency.

If you are burning hard wood and you are loading the furnace with only 4-5 hour burn times my 1st thought is that you have not had your barometric draft regulator set properly.
it sounds like it's running too fast.
Also to only get 10 hours on 50 lbs of hard coal tells me your draft regulator is set to run too fast.
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby emar » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:39 pm

I have an Eagle Husky 1 with the damper adjusted properly I get 4-5 hours between refills also, but that it burning maple dryed ower the summer, not green but not seasoned completly. Because of the lack of seasoned wood I decided to try coal, I can keep my house at around 60 degrees and I canot seem to get any more heat out of the furnace. I can get a nice looking fire going, coal in the back of the fire box is about up to the top of the first row of fire brick and sloped down to the shaker posts. Coal nearest the shaker post doesn't want to burn well but rest of the fire looks good. I shake the ash out before I add more coal everything goes good durring the day then at night I just cant get the heat anyone have any Ideas? I'm using Blashack coal and when things are heating good use about 50-60 pounds a day when I get no heat I still use the same per day my house is 2500sq feet and out door temp is about 10f I had the hardest time heating the outer day when the wind was blowing quite hard
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Keith Nelson » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:37 pm

Where is your draft setting as per a manometer?
Are your smoke bafflesin place and has the blower been set to achieve 80-90 degrees across the top of the furnace as per specs in the owners manual.
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Scott » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:21 am

Hello,

This year I did not get enough wood so I bought a few tons of coal and have been trying to burn it. I think the coal type is bituminous, when I put coal in the stove there is so much smoke that it looks like there is a steam engine on my roof. I have had to clean the chimney and heat exchange pipes out around every 6 to 7 days since I started using coal and the heat exchange pipes will almost be completely blocked with really light soot, this stuff is really nasty and hard to get cleaned up.

The coal is in big lumps, I break it up so that it is fist size to gravel size before I use it. This is the only kind of coal I can get where I live.

I had the updraft set to .03 and then reset it to .05 to see if getting more air for a hotter burn would cut down on the soot build up, it did not work, I cleaned out the chimney and heat exchange pipes Monday and will have to clean it tomorrow on Saturday, because when I open the furnace door smoke has started to come out, the heat exchange pipes are already almost blocked again after only five days.

The furnace is in a utility room with large vents cut into an outside door so it should be getting plenty of air.

The smoke baffles are in place.

I do not know of any more information to give, if anyone has an idea about how to fix this I would really appreciate it. This has become so frustrating that I may just have a heat pump installed for next year and I hate heat pumps.

Thanks,
Scott
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Keith Nelson » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:17 pm

Scott,
It really sounds like a draft issue. You say you have vents to the outter room but is there air from outside the house being brought in for make up air?

COMBUSTION AIR
Make-up outside air must be provided to furnace for
proper fuel combustion. This is provided by openings
to outside of building. These openings shall have
unobstructed areas not less than the areas of the flue
pipe. See Figs. 25, 26, 27
IMPORTANT:
Outside air is needed to replace air used by
the burner and wood combustion process.
Outside air is required to replace air used for
taking the by-products of combustion out
the chimney. Outside air is needed to
replace air expelled by kitchen or bathroom
fans. It is also needed to replace air expelled
by water heater chimneys or fans.
See Figs. 25, 26, 27
Failure to provide outside air to the furnace area will
result in negative pressure, or vacuum, in the home.
Smoke from the wood fire may not be drawn up the
chimney. This causes creosote buildup and sometimes
causes smoke to enter furnace room.

WARNING: You must provide for
enough fresh air to assure proper
combustion. The fire in the furnace uses
oxygen and must have a continuous
supply. The air in a house contains only enough
oxygen to supply the furnace for a short time.
Outside air must enter the house to replace that
used by the furnace.
Installation


Go to page #29 of this link to see the installation of the make up air.
http://www.yukon-eagle.com/Portals/0/ma ... %201_2.pdf
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Scott » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:09 pm

Keith,

The air vents are on an outside door so it is outside air being supplied for combustion air. There are two vents, the bottom one is 19" x 15" and the top one is 15" x 19".

I also have had the draft set at .03 and .05 with the same results. There is no negative pressure or vacuum, Smoke only enters the room when the heat exchange flue pipes are almost blocked.

When I cleaned the furnace Saturday there was only about one inch to an inch and a half square opening for the smoke to go through in all four heat exchange flue pipes, it built all of this up in only five days. The buildup is not hard creosote it is very light soot. I do not have this problem if I am burning wood.

Thanks,
Scott
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Keith Nelson » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:04 pm

I don't know what to say.I know nothing of the coal you are burning. If the flue is proper and the draft setting is proper and the make up air is proper then I would have to look at the fuel source.
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Jeff Foreman » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:30 am

Burning from the top? Interesting- I read the user manual for my Eagle One to start a fire with wood, then layer coal allowing burn from the bottom, and it has worked well for 9 years.

Temps here(mid-Atlantic) run as low as 0-5F mid-winter; I 'blend' with the varying temps. I'll burn wood only when we're having highs in the 40s or higher, coal only if temps not going above 30F, and blend in between. My fire when we're below 40F will stay lit for weeks(though I'll put it out every couple weeks to totally clean the firebox or if we get a 55F day).

I start with a wood fire, down to red coals, layer one layer of Anthracite(nut/chestnut size), get it going with an open thermostat for 20 mins, then another layer, 20 more mins, then pile deeper to the back- 8 to 9 inches, and 2 to 3 inches deep in the front, allowing some glowing through the front coals, and place the thermostat to 69-70F.

True, the size of the firebox is large for a coal burn in a new house(my install was in new construction), and during the first year or so, we had to open windows when the temp inside hit 76+, but the science is a learned one.

The coal fire will sometimes burn out to the right or left; Depending on temp, I'll rake out the ash close to the grate and place a piece of wood there. The adjacent burning coal will light the wood, and after 45 mins or so, I'll re-pile coal on the now reddened wood.

Burn rate/usage- house built 2001, 6" ext walls at R-19, 2500 SF Rancher, R30+attic, temp at ~70F:
Temps of HI 30-35F, LO 20-25F; 20-25lbs of coal a day
Temps of HI 20-25F, LO 0-5F; 40-45lbs(just over a 40 lb bag) of coal a day
Coal here is running $300 a ton here by the bag this year(a little cheaper if you actually get a ton delivered in bags), so 1 bag-$6/day when its super-cold- compares favorably when my LP delivery guy tells me he has customers using 12 gallons a day at $2.50(right- $30 a day/$900 a month to heat their house).

I typically burn just over 1/2 ton of coal and 1.5 to 2 cords of wood(oak mostly) a year; 2010 was especially cold and snowy, and I burned just over 1 ton, but only about 1 1/4 cords of wood(it got cold and stayed cold)-this year is leaning towards last temp wise, so I expect close to a ton of coal and 1 1/2 cords of wood.

The best thing about coal burning is only tending to the furnace 2 or 3 times a day and less weight to carry around as I get older as opposed to wood- with wood I generally check it 3 or 4 times a day. I did learn the hard way not to shake the grates to their stops vigorously- the only part I've had to replace is both grates- I broke the nipples of both, about 2 weeks apart.

Jeff
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Re: Burning coal in Eagle Husky I

Postby Keith Nelson » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:01 pm

That was a great story full of detail....thanks Jeff! :D
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