Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wood Briquettes Eco and Eco-nomic Solution


Heat or Eat
The Cost of Heating
An Ecological Solution? 
This post has been partly updated

A large part of the Irish population still relies on open fires and stoves as the main heat source. It is generally the more vulnerable and elderly that fall into this category and will be the ones most adversely affected by the Carbon Tax increases.

The Irish government really needs to think this one out a bit more carefully. At the very least, they could drop the 13.5% VAT on wood and biomass heating products. They would also need to promote their use as most people do not know much about them or how to properly use them.

Coal and peat products, including peat briquettes, will go up in price by about 10% in the New Year when the government imposes an extra carbon tax. The carbon tax with have the 13.5% VAT placed on top of it, so that is how the 10% comes about.

An €18.50 Euro bag of smokeless coal will become a €20.35 bag of coal, and a €3.99 bale of peat briquettes will be priced at €4.39.

Wood the answer?

Wood is carbon neutral and a 100% renewable source it does not have a carbon tax placed on it. Eco friendly wood products do however have a 13.50% VAT placed on them.

Lump wood, like logs and blocks, is not the most convenient fuel to use. Also, the wood blocks that are touted door to door in fertiliser bags are VERY poor value for money. That is because of two things:

(1) They are generally soft wood - which has low heat output.
(2) Those block are not kiln dried and carry up to 30% moisture in them.

Wood that has more than 20% moisture uses a lot of the heat just to get rid of the moisture, and some very damp wood hardly gives any heat output at all!!

Wood Briquettes, on the other hand,  are VERY LOW moisture only about 5%. This is especially true of the baked / cooked dark ones.

Wood briquettes are 100% wood and therefore DO NOT carry any carbon tax and will not be going up in price in the New Year. The price increase in fossil fuels will mean that the Eco friendly fuels like wood briquettes will become much more price competitive.

Peat and Wood Briquettes similar heat output

Kilogram for kilogram Peat Briquettes and Eco Wood Briquettes give about the same heat output. The differences are:

1.    Eco Briquettes burn better.
2.    Eco Briquettes leave much less ash.
3.    Eco Briquette ash is clean and a great garden fertiliser.
4.    Eco Briquettes do not cause the destruction of the last few bogs in Ireland.

Good quality coal has perhaps a 20% higher heat output to wood briquettes. However, coal leaves a lot of ash and clinker, which is partially toxic to nature, try sticking it on you garden! Coal is a dirty substance and the smell of burning coal is horrible. Burning wood smells really nice.

There are a number of suppliers for the good quality wood briquettes in Ireland. If you want a price that competes with coal on a heat value per Euro basis, you will need to purchase a large quantity.

Different Types and Qualities of Wood Briquette

These are the good type - They come in several shapes but all have a similar look

In my last post I discussed wood briquettes briefly and said that I would avoid the type that looks like a block of sawdust or a lump of chipboard.

 This is the not-so-good chipboard block type of briquette

The chipboard type of sawdust block does not burn very well when compared to the highly compressed and heat treated type. Buy them only if you get a very very very good price!!

 A better type above has a dark colour and fine texture - not like chipboard

The type of wood briquette are usually 100% hardwood briquettes which are dark in colour because they have been "Cooked". They are very hard and burn very well. The give way more heat than any type of logs you care to mention. The do not spark or spit. They burn fully down to a very fine ash.


The briquettes with a hole in the middle burn way TOO QUICKLY. While they are superior to the "sawdust" blocks, and to the hammer-mill layered sawdust briquettes - they still are by no means ideal.

Only one type of wood briquette can replace coal - that type is so hard you could hardly hammer a nail into it - it also is solid - no hole in the middle - so the burn is more like lumps of coal. This type I have written about are generally not available in Ireland. See my articles do a search for HERMANSON BRIQUETTES.



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Solid Fuels Prices and Types


Some Eco Friendly Fuels
and some not so
Environmentally Friendly Fuels

 This type of Highly Compressed and heat treated Briquette is good

Above is pictured an Eco Friendly - Wood Briquette. There are several types of wood based briquettes available on the market. The above type is a highly compressed, and heat treated briquette. The identifying characteristics are:

(1) Dark in colour looks partially burned.
(2) They are very hard indeed, somewhat brittle, and break easily with a tap.
(3) Have a pleasant almost incense like smell. Smell nice when burning too.
(4) Have a slight dusty sooty deposit on them.
(5) Some - but not all types - have a hole through the middle.

The above picture shows AFAIK an imported type of the heat compressed briquette. These can be bought quite cheaply in parts of the country.

There are ones made in Ireland and some imported ones. This is generally a good type of wood briquette which will burn really well leaving only a fine ash which is excellent for the garden as a fertiliser.


Price for this type varies quite a bit. Bord na Mona sell one but, as usual with BNM the price is not competitive.

The above pictured type can be bought on a one ton pallet for €346 in the Dublin area. There is a delivery charge on top of this amount though.

This is a so-called wood briquette - I would avoid this type

Above is another type of so-called wood briquette - these "things" come in a variety of shapes - some are round logs type things, others are various types of brick shapes.

These lumps of sawdust are in fact not a true briquette, they are basically just compressed sawdust, and they burn just like sawdust - poorly. You might as well be burning chunks of chipboard.

I have tried them and personally I would avoid them, unless they came very- very - very cheaply so as to make it really worth the trouble. otherwise I would say - stay away from them.

Peat Briquettes

Imported peat briquettes can be bought for €372 per ton delivered. This compares with smokeless coal at €350 per ton delivered and Premium Polish coal at €320 per ton delivered.

Peat Briquettes from Estonia different shape to Irish and CHEAPER

I have checked these prices in the last week and AFAIK they are correct. Please do not contact me asking for specifics. Do your own Google search, ask around, and you will find a good deal close to you I am sure. Just don't be satisfied with some of the rip-off prices on offer. The housing bubble would never have happened but for the silly people who were prepared to pay the crazy inflated prices being asked. Stand up for yourself and insist on a fair price for winter fuels.

Carbon Tax

The government are going to add another chunk of carbon tax soon to coals and oils - so stock up before the hit. It will be interesting to see if the Eco Friendly fuels will track the coals in price - given that the wood based fuels will NOT have a carbon tax added. But Ireland being the Rip-Off Republic, I predict that the gougers will be in there like a flash taking advantage.


Hamco Multi-Fuel Stoves and Insets


Hamco Multi-Fuel Stoves 
and Insets

I have been looking around for different makes of solid fuel stoves sold in Ireland, and the latest I have come across is a range marketed under the brand name of Hamco.

Hamco Enterprises Ltd. operate from Tullamore County Offaly. Hamco sell an extensive range of their own branded stoves and in addition carry the Franco Belge range of stoves.

My readers may have noticed that I have been looking closely at two particular types of stove. (1) Inexpensive small freestanding 6 to 7Kw stoves, and (2) Inset Stoves that can be easily fitted into an existing fireplace with a minimum of work.

Better than many Fancy SEAI Schemes

I believe that fitting stoves like these in the 100,000 or more open fires in Ireland, would do more for sustainability than all the fancy-schmancy and expensive schemes put together by SEAI (The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland).

New Hamco Inset Stove due Soon

I had a nice conversation with Hamco’s Brian McMahon who was most informative and well versed in his subject. Brian told me that Hamco are about to release an inset stove, and here is the good part, the recommended retail price will be only €620 inc. VAT. That means It should be completely feasible to purchase one of these stoves at around €550.

Hamco have their castings done in China the same as Blacksmith and Mulberry. The grates are in the same quality of high chromium iron 17% chromium, giving them longer life.

Next time a closer look at some Hamco Stoves.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Savings on Smokless Coal


€13 per 40Kg bag
Oil Prices have Gone Crazy
More Gov. Tax to be added soon
I've gone to Coal Heating this Winter

With a fill of heating oil now at €840 - I have had enough - -  and have decided to forgo entirely on oil this winter. I am breaking with sustainability principles BECAUSE I cannot afford to be green. if the Government want people to be green, then they need to make the green alternative affordable - not tax the daylights out of the people.

Stoves a great saving

Many hundreds of people are installing stoves. The best fuel to maximise a stoves output and extend the burning period to perhaps 9 hours on a single fill, is smokeless coals.

There are some wood based green alternatives BUT these are very expensive to use. If the Irish Government were well advised, they might subsidise and make tax free these wood based fuels - but that would be hoping for much too much.


The semi monopoly on solid fuel in Ireland is Bord na Mona, a semi-state company. Bord na Mona (The Peat Board) has its prices pitched well above other sources. It charges almost €19 for a 40Kg bag of cosyglo smokeless.

It is possible to get smokeless coals as cheap as €13 per 40Kg bag. One supplier in Co. Kerry offers  "Super Heat" smokeless mix, a small sized mixture, 1" to 2" nuggets, of several smokeless fuels at €39 for 3 bags. see the above photo, I have included a ruler in the picture to give you an idea of the size of the fuel.

Not the best smokless coal

This is not the best smokeless fuel I have used, but it is perfectly adequate for use in a stove. It gives excellent heat output, but it is harder to light initially, and there is a fair amount of small pieces in the mix which does not promote the burn as well as a fuel with larger sized pieces. This coal would be best used mixed with say Calco or similar. At the price though, it represents nothing short of a bargain. Calco is a better product at a slightly higher price.

Don't pay inflated prices for your coal this winter - ask around and shop around and you WILL find cheaper. When you find a cheaper source please do let others know, that way the word will spread quickly and the price gougers will be squeezed out.

This is where I got a bag of "Super Heat" smokeless (singles).

Econ Fuels
Monavalley Industrial Estate
(just off the "Fat Mile" and
opposite DPL builders suppliers)


Smokless Coal Prices in RipOff Ireland


Ireland Leading Again
in the
Rip-Off Stakes

This came in as a comment from Una Castle in Navan:

Unacastle has left a new comment on your post "Saving on Winter Fuels Smokeless Coal":

Hi. I'm in Navan and we have a Waterford Stanley stove. We find this Calco great ( I didn't realise it was smokeless, I thought it was called 'anthracite' -don't know where I got that idea) Anyway, we are paying 21.80 per bag so your price of 14 per bag is terrific. Such a pity so far away. If you hear of such a good deal else where would be great to know. Thanks Oonagh 


What can I say Oonagh - the Gombeen Men, they have been breeding in dark holes since the Famine, they are at it again.

The price you are being charged is nothing short of daylight robbery. The guys I am buying my coal from are still making a profit at €14 per bag. Granted this is a promotional price and may increase by a bit later on. But cowboys selling the stuff at €22 a bag - no way!

Bord na Mona CosyGlo is €18.50 and is a slightly better coal. Tell your local Calco supplier to go get lost. Try making a list of all fuel suppliers in your locality, ask around, and some weekend ring around and ask the prices - there has to be some honest dealers out there. If you find some honest ones let me know and I will give them a plug here.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ireland is Sick


What I Believe is 
with Ireland

(ya this is a rant - I need to let it out before I burst)

1.    Ireland has a HUGE ELEPHANTINE public service system. Paying for the upkeep of this top-heavy monster places an unacceptable burden on taxes. Ireland has a public service system which is:

(a) Highly inefficient  - compared to the private sector.
(b) In places perhaps 50% overstaffed  - compared to private enterprise, and
(c) Is overpaid by at least 25% compared to the private sector.
(d) Pays pensions which for the most part can only be dreamed of by the private sector.

Just go, for instance, and sit in any HSE office and watch the ant like movements of the masses of paper shufflers.

2.    There are simply way too many self-serving and wasteful governmental institutions, agencies, bodies, authorities, committees etc. etc. etc. Fás is a typical example of gross misconduct.

3.    We have had a much less than squeaky-clean government and parliament that bends to vested interests - and that over-pays itself handsomely. On a weighted comparison - perhaps the highest paid in the entire world. Salaries are paid - irrespective of attendance or of work performed - great job if you can get it!!

4.    Crazy, vastly inflated, and grossly disrespectful to the poorer people, ministerial and government pensions for life. Life-long pensions for some that have served only a few years. Potentially, you could have hundreds on €150,000 a year.

5.    Private and public sector professions that are out of control. Ireland has the highest paid medical, dental, legal, public service executives, and members of parliament - in the world. This represents a gross imbalance.

Any large imbalance in nature will cause an eventual and inevitable collapse of the potential differences. The Irish government needs to put an immediate and effective stop to the protectionism being practiced by many professional bodies in Ireland that effectively prevent non-nationals setting up their profession in Ireland. In fact they need to take steps to encourage doctors, dentists etc. to relocate to Ireland.

Essentially, the public have already cast their vote, with their feet, in this respect - as many thousands travel to Northern Ireland and to other EU countries for medical and dental treatment at half the Irish cost.

End of rant -for now!!


A Return to a Black Economy


Are We Heading
downhill at SPEED
into an even Blacker
Black Economy?

The leaked government papers from Germany show that we Irish are heading for more and more and more, and even more taxation. A general VAT rate of 23% will encourage not only cross-border trade, but will fuel a very healthy growth in the already thriving black economy.

The crazy Irish taxes on home heating oil, making it some 20+% more expensive than a few miles up the road in the north of Ireland, has prompted me this winter to forgo on oil heating altogether, and instead go for the dirtier, more carbon intensive but cheaper option of coal to heat my home.

Dr Sam Vaknin
In July last, I re-published, with kind permission, a very interesting piece by Sam Vaknin on Black Economy called "The Blessings of the Black Economy". I recommend it to my readers.

Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicide

It would be far too easy for individuals to fall into a state of depression and anxiety given what we are facing economically. And all that economic and psychological suffering simply to pay for the robbery, the cheating, the greedy mishandling by bankers, the despicable speculators, and the corrupt elements of government. 

Economic depression is intrinsically linked to psychological depression, which in turn is linked to substance abuse, social disorder, mental depression, and suicide.

Sam Vaknin shines a ray of hope on what I believe is an inevitable outcome of the unjustness of the economic situation.

Roll on The Black Economy

A great way of avoiding VAT is to establish bartering systems. This can work very well with services - I do some work for you, as a favour, and you return the favour in some other fashion.

Cross border day trips will boom so there is great hope for the traders North of the border. Repair and maintenance services will boom, as people will not be in a hurry to scrap older equipment.

With the extensive penetration of social media, all good ideas will very quickly spread, and people will find a way around draconian taxation.

I did not benefit in any way from the Celtic Tiger, I did not cause any losses in the banking system or the economy, I therefore do not see that I should be asked to pay for the cheaters and speculators mistakes. I will be doing all I can to avoid paying high taxes to bale-out the banks.

An Economic Famine

As Sam Vaknin points out in his thesis, a healthy Black Economy might be our only hope of preventing the country going completely and irretrievably into the red and everlasting debt. An economic Famine that could crush the very life from our economy and our people, depleting the population and denigrating our people just as effectively as our historic famines.

Moral Leadership

If the government had any notion of how to lead people, they would lead from the FRONT. This they could simply do by taking a token 50% cut in the enormous salaries and capping all expenses to members of the Irish Parliament. But have they even talked in this direction - - - ??


Friday, November 18, 2011

Fireplace Doors Stoves and Kachelovens


Further Update 
on my 
Experimental Fireplace Door 

A Kacheloven

Above is a photo of a modern stone faced "Kacheloven".  A "kacheloven" is a masonry stove, sometimes beautifully tiled with ceramic art, which is generally associated  with Germany and Austria. They are highly efficient stoves and the brick / clay fabric retains heat like a storage heater.

The main features are the sealed and air controlled fire box giving controlled burn, and the heat absorbing brickwork.

Have I created a Kacheloven by accident?

When I installed my experimental fire front door, I did so with a warning from an SEAI  "official" that it might lead to cracked masonry in the chimney due to overheating.

I basically figured that this would not occur, as I had a back-boiler installed which, I believed, would absorb much of the extra heat generated.

This was in fact the situation as it has emerged over a good time of constant use. What I did not expect from the installation, was the positive storage heater effect. The fire door and air control has slowed down the air rising up the chimney, allowing the chimney to absorb more of the heat.

When I eventually got the air control and sealing fully and efficiently operating, the overall efficiency of the fire was greatly increased.  The fire can now slow-burn for up to 10 hours on a single fill of fuel.

The Results

The stonework facing takes up a lot of heat and can reach  a peak of 70 degrees C. The chimney breast does not get this hot but can reach a maximum of about 45 degrees. The entire chimney warms up - heating the kitchen behind the wall and the bedrooms overhead.

It takes several hours for this heat to build up, and when the fire is kept going 24 - 7 it maintains a lovely heat in the whole house. Some of this heat is transferred by means of the back boiler which transfers perhaps between 2 to 7 kW perhaps to radiators etc. depending on the state of burn of the fire.

The winter so far this year has been mild and we have kept the fire more or less on minimum burn all of the time. The only heat source in the 12 foot by 18 foot living room is from the fire. That room stays almost a constant 22 to 23 degrees.

The rooms heated by radiator on the far end of the house tend to drop a little overnight but generally stay above 19 degrees. The house has never felt so constantly comfortable.

Above is a picture of my living room stone-fronted fireplace with the experimental fireplace door. The stone fronting is about 12cm deep and made of a very dense stone called Achill stone which is a sparkling amathystine quartz with a warm yellow tinge. The stone takes heat very well and retains it for hours.

So far this winter the stove is redundant

Our kitchen / dining room has a Blacksmith Anvil stove fitted. So far this winter, it has been redundant, as the heat from the shared chimney breast and some heat from a radiator has kept the room above 20 degrees. I am sure in the colder weather this will not be maintained.

Bottom line, so far this winter - the house is at 22 degrees 24 -7 and:

(1) We have not used the oil fired central heating at all. 
(2) We have not yet lit the stove in the kitchen.
(3) We have the electric immersion water heater turned off.

One single fire in the living room has kept the house toasty warm and supplied all the hot water needed as well.

What does it cost to run?

At the moment, mid November and mild, running the system 24 - 7, we are using about 50 to 60 Kgs of smokeless coal per week. This "Calco" coal is costing us just €14 per 40 Kg bag delivered - see my recent post:

So the heating and hot water is currently costing us between €17.50 and €21 a week. When you deduct the immersion heater electricity costs of roughly €1 per day (the immersion has been switched off for weeks), you get a space heating cost of between €10.50 and €14 per week for a toasty warm 24 -7 heated 4 bedroom house. I would say that is not bad at all.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mulberry Stoker Inset Stove


A First Look at 
The Mulberry Stoker
Inset Stove


I had a long and very interesting conversation recently with Peter Hughes of Mulberry Stoves Ireland. Peter really knows his stuff and answered my many questions regarding the design principles, operation, materials, installation, efficiency, fuel, and maintenance of solid fuel inset stoves.

Why am I telling you this? The reason I mention it is because it gives me confidence to know that there is an individual in a company who is a competent engineer, and who fully understands the scientific design and operating principles involved in their subject.

The Stoker Inset

The Mulberry Stoker is a bit different in its basic shape from the many run of the mill inset stoves on the market. It presents an unfussy look with modern simple clean lines.

I am looking here, in this posting, at the non-boiler version of the Mulberry Stoker. There is also a stove available with a built-in boiler.

One very different feature of the Stoker is the fire box, which appears to project outwards into the room in a unique "Bay Window" formation. This feature allows a very wide angle view of the fire, but it also presents a larger surface area to the room thus allowing more heat to radiate and convect to the room space.

This would appear to be reflected in the higher rated output of 6.5kW. A figure of between 5 and 6kW is about average. The Mulberry also has a notably higher efficiency of 76%. A certified efficiency of 76% is unusual in an inset stove. Efficiency of 70% would be considered good, 76% is closer to the efficiency of a free standing stove and is excellent for an inset.

Note the Dormer fronted Fire box

All of the castings which come into contact with the fire, such as grates, baffles etc., are done in 17%.hi-chrome iron. This makes them resistant to burning out and therefore longer lasting.

The Convection Airflow Pattern


The Stoker inset is a bit more expensive than the Blacksmith Anvil. The list price is just over €1000 but it can be purchased a deal cheaper than this. Walsh Bros. Tullamore currently have it on a special offer at €795.

Manufacturer Specifications

• Maximum output 6.5kW
• Maximum fuel consumption 0.93kg per hour
• Efficiency of 76%
• Clean burning with low emissions - O.26% CO (at 13% O2)
• Long lasting 17% Hi-Chrome castings in grate and firebox
• Unique bay window gives wide view of fire
• Window air wash for clean glass
• Provides both Convection and Radiant heat
• Will burn overnight
• Easily installed – DIY fitting in 15 minutes
• Works perfectly in normal chimney
• Can be used with or without flexible flue liner
• Guaranteed Irish – manufactured in Ireland
• Certified to EN 13240 and CE approved
• Manufactured by company certified to ISO 9001
and ISO 14001

I have not had a chance to see this stove working as yet, so I can give no assessment of its actual performance. When I get to examine one close up I will inform the blog with an update.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Economic and Social Order Sustainability


No one will deny that there is a multi-faceted world-wide crisis happening. The financial situation is generally the focus of blame. However I believe it is far deeper than mere economic problems.

Belief, trust, a positive outlook, and a willingness to co-operate and share are, IMHO, at the very core of the problems.

Politicians and bankers head the list of the least trusted people on the planet. Yet, they are the ones controlling the situation. What does that tell you? Jungle laws apply - the big and the powerful take it all and only the scraps are fought over by the rest.

In Ireland, it seems that when things get tough and the people lose hope - the Irish get pissed. Reports just out indicate that there has been a 42% increase in alcohol and substance abuse in just 5 years since the last figures in 2005.

That is just frightening, especially when the fall-out implication are considered. Family life and children will take the biggest hit, leading to increased social problems in the future. But the Irish economy will also suffer through lost work days and increased medical and social service requirements. And of course the Irish reputation as a nation of drunks will suffer yet further.

What is this post about? I am just airing my ruminations and worries for the immediate future.  Interesting, highly volatile, and scary times we are living in!!


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Inset Stove Design and Some Tests Part 3



Here is a very basic but effective test to show if you are getting a proper outward and upward flow of convection hot air. It involves nothing more than a strip of lightweight tissue paper placed across the length of the convection grill.

The Basis of the Test

Think about this for a moment - if you were to place a narrow strip of lightweight tissue paper across the top of just about any operating convector heater, what would you expect might happen to the tissue?

(a) Would it be wafted upward by a current of hot air?
(b) Or, would it be sucked down onto the top of the heater?

Think “hot air balloon”  - think why does smoke go up a chimney.

So on an inset stove you will find a grill or grills at the very top of the stove above the glass door. The grill is the convection grill.

IF THE STOVE IS OPERATING CORRECTLY there will be an outflow of hot air from this top grill.

FACT: Most of the heat from an inset stove has to come by way of the convection system. If the convection system is not operating properly, the stove efficiency will be severely reduced. If the convection system is completely dysfunctional, the stove may be some 60% less efficient than it should be.


CAUTION: Before attempting any tests you should be fully satisfied that there is no danger of an accident occurring. If you don't feel confident - then don't do the test.

A piece of lightweight tissue paper about 35 x 7cm is simply gently placed on top of the grill/s for a few seconds. If there is any reasonable convection process taking place, the tissue paper will be wafted upwards - maybe not a lot -  but there should be some lifting of the tissue.

If it is not being wafted upwards in the hot airflow - or indeed if the opposite happens to be the case - and it is being sucked down onto the grill, you have a problem.


1.    No upward current of hot air = no convection taking place. This could be a blockage in the convection channels - or it might be bad design.
2.    The tissue being sucked down onto the grill = a negative air current which mean not only do you NOT have convection, BUT ALSO any heat in the convection chamber is being vacuumed up the chimney. You have a faulty inset stove. This could be a cracked stove or it could be bad design causing this to happen.


The number (2) of the above problems is what is happening with a Blacksmith "Artisan" stove I have encountered. I am wondering if this is a singular problem, or are there perhaps other Artisan owners out there who might be experiencing the same problem?

If you own a Blacksmith Artisan, I would like to hear from you how well you find the convection system operating.

Q1 - Do you get a good blast of hot air from the top grill?
Q2 - Or if you decide to do the tissue test - did you find the tissue being sucked down onto the grill?


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Saving on Winter Fuels Smokeless Coal


 Calco Smokeless Coal

Smokeless Coal
at a really GOOD price

I have decided this winter to hold off on buying Heating Oil because the price is just horrific - 20% dearer that up the North - due to Irish taxes.

Instead, I am using smokeless coal in my stove and in my back boiler and fire door fireplace. So far, I am very pleased with the results.

Bord na Mona is charging €18.50 per 40Kg bag for the "Cozy Glow" smokeless. This is a good quality non-flame type of smokeless "briquette" type coal, but the price is very high indeed.

So I went on the hunt for an alternative and I eventually found a coal that works well in my stove and modified fireplace. The supplier I found is in Tralee. This smokeless coal is almost 25% cheaper than the Bord na Mona coal and it gives me results just about as good as the Cozyglo.

I have kept my fire burning overnight and the house toasty warm on this coal. The coal burns really well in stoves and is not too difficult to light. It is called Calco Smokeless and is a mixture of briquettes and nuggets. (see the photo above taken in my back yard)

If you buy three bags or more at a time you will get it for just €14 per 40Kg bag. So are you are asking me where is this bargain to be had??

The small privately owned business is located in Tralee. They will deliver in the Tralee area free of charge. If you are outside the town you will have to collect. I am all for small enterprises and therefore very happy to give these guys a go.

Here are the contact details.

Econ Fuels
Monavalley Industrial Estate
(just off the "Fat Mile" and
opposite DPL builders suppliers)