Though mainly serving industrial purposes, coal boilers offer heating capabilities that can provide central heating throughout a whole building. Although coal may not be the fuel of choice anymore, it is still one of the largest sources of energy for generating heat, and the vast boiler units allow it to reach high levels of heating efficiency.
Coal is highly combustible sedimentary rock and fossil fuel, but can be mined from the ground more locally than other fossil fuels.
How Do Coal Boilers Work?
Coal fired boilers are generally fitted outside given their large size, and most commonly work by pulverizing the coal; crushing it to produce a fine powder that can be heated easily. It is mixed with air and burned in the boiler after pieces of coal are crushed by balls or cylindrical rollers. As the coal is crushed, the hot air dries and blows the usable, now finely grained, coal out of the burner to be used as fuel.
Alternatively, some coal boilers are available with automated hoppers, funnel shaped dispensers, whereby small pieces of coal can be fed into the boiler via the hopper using an auger tool.
Once the coal is burned, the water inside the coal boiler is heated up, which can then move through the pipes to either provide hot running water or central heating.
Coal Boilers for the Home
As coal is still a widely available fossil fuel, coal boilers for the home can be an ideal heating choice. A small coal fired boiler and coal hopper is installed next to the house, which automatically feeds coal into the burner, and controls it on a demand basis. Ultimately, the burning coal heats the water which is then circulated throughout the whole house. When the water returns, it is then ready to be reheated, and the process starts again.
Coal Fires with Back Boilers
Also commonly found in the home are coal fires with back boilers. This type of coal boiler transports the fuel from a coal fire, which is placed in one room, to a separate boiler at the back of the house. The boiler is then able to provide the whole house with heat and hot water as it then carries the fuel back to radiators and taps throughout the home. A coal back boiler is used to supplement, or sometimes even replace central heating systems, providing a high heat output just from one room.
Coal Boiler Efficiency
Although these boilers produce carbon emissions, coal boiler efficiency levels almost outweigh this downfall, as their performance is much more reliable than other fossil fuels and even electricity.
Hot water is always available when using coal fired boilers, as although they require more attention and maintenance, they work without electricity, so there is no risk of power failures.
Coal Boiler Benefits
These boilers are long lasting and can work out as the cheapest fossil fuel heating option, as coal is plentiful so is generally cheap.
Coal boilers can be used in many locations as availability of coal is extensive, and can be easily delivered and stored in domestic or business environments for heating hotels and retail stores, etc.