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coal sizes


Joined: 1-01-70

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Posted: Mon 25th Aug 2014, 10:40am
coal sizes

A question for the theorist...... given coal from the same source but in two different sizes, say beans and next size up (whatever that is) which will burn longest and therefore use less coal?
some say larger coal burns slower and last longer...I think for the same amount of steam production there is no difference....

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Joined: 1-01-87

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Posted: Tue 26th Aug 2014, 8:40pm

I think your right Alan; one pound of coal burnt in perfect conditions produces about 12,000 BTU’s of heat regardless of its size.

Because coal mostly burns on its surface small coal will burn faster as the total surface area of many small pieces is greater than the surface area of one large lump but the energy produced will be exactly the same provided the same total weight of coal is burnt.

I found that my all steel Sweet William boiler with a marine firebox steamed far better on beans than it did on lumps that would only just go through the fire hole door; I think many other owners with marine fireboxes have found the same.

The next size up to Beans is usually Singles. I think I'm correct in saying that.



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Posted: Fri 29th Aug 2014, 9:17am

From my experience larger pieces have greater gaps between them for air to pass through and this is not efficient if those gaps are too large. Also owners of marine fireboxes tend to burn smaller coal than loco boiler fireboxes drivers. I believe the most important question is the coal quality. Ffoss-y-fran Welsh steam coal is fantastic. Very hot, almost no ash in the smokebox and clinker free.
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