Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oil - Smokeless Coals - Reviewing the Situation


Oil or Coal?
and a further look at 
Formed Smokeless Coals

Coal is not the best heating value just now, simply because the bottom has fallen out of oil prices, and this makes oil the cheapest heating method for a short space of time.

Oil Best heating Value Just Now.

Those with oil fired heating should top up their tanks now - that is if you have the cash, as the low price will not last too much longer. At the current price oil a a very good deal for home heating. I filled my tank for the 1st time in almost 5 years. The price was €477 for a 1000 liters, that's about half of what it cost at the highest point.

Back to Coal.

For those who do not have oil heating, and cannot afford any fancy geothermal heating etc. and especially for those who have to rely on solid fuel, coal is the next best on the value scale.

As regular readers will know, I have long been a fan of Calco Mix, a blend of petro-coke and lignite, along with some other types of coal. Two of my fairly recent deliveries of Calco came with some FREE extras - in the form of rocks, stones and pieces of concrete. I was not the only one who got these free extras. My most recent delivery of Calco was a big improvement but not totally free of stones and other bits.

The Calco with stones mix, with the dangers of exploding stones - put me to looking at the formed coals more closely and my supplier suggested Hi-Glo. In December I did a short review of Hi-Glo, that is the one on the right in the photo below.

Left Cozy-Glo by Bord na Mona - Eco-Brite center - and far right Hi-Glo

Hi-Glo Smokeless Formed Coal.

I have used over 10 by 40kg bags of Hi-Glo coal to date, here are my further observation about this fuel.

The fuel is very smelly when burned. It is fair to say it stinks. You can smell this coal a kilometer away from the house. Once you get to know the smell, you can tell who is using it, and where it is being used. Hopefully the manufacturers can do something with formula to reduce the pong in time.

The coal does not leave cinders as such, just the odd bit of un-burnt coal and a fairly fine ash.

The winning points of this fuel are:

(1) the high heat output,
(2) the clean burn - except for the smell, and
(3) the best point is the long burn it gives. I have not had to relight my stove in over 2 weeks. The fuel can be made to stay glowing hot for up to 11 hours.

If the smell could be improved, this would be a very fine quality coal indeed.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

General Election and State of Irish Politics


What is the State of Ireland's Politics

A Painting by Shameus O'Conman

With an general election coming up in literally days, and the spin machines fully oiled and rolling, I wonder where this election is going to take the Irish Nation.

A survey in the not too distant past indicated that politicians are one of the least trusted profession in Ireland. 

I find it very strange and I wonder why the Irish public don't trust the very people they themselves have elected as their representatives, and law makers?

The trust figures for the profession of politician were just staggering. It would seem that a huge 88% of Irish people said that they do not trust politicians. 

Would you take a job where 88% of those employing you did not trust you?

The question on my mind is will the people vote again for those they do not trust?


Friday, February 12, 2016

My 1st ever post

Coming up on the 10th anniversary of this Blog I am re-posting my 1st ever article. I have corrected the spellings, I was blind to many mistakes back then!

Wood Pellet Heating Rip-Off in Ireland

Rip-Off Ireland has become a common catch phrase in recent times. There is now a completely new type of Rip-Off going on which is based on the new Government Grant Scheme set up to promote domestic renewable source heating systems.

There are generous government grants for Solar, Geo-Thermal, and Bio-mass wood pellet heating systems. Full details are available at This is an excellent site with lots of information. There are grant application forms etc., and the site gives details of approved units and approved installers.

What the site does not detail are some of the major price rip-offs going on in the business. For instance; the cost to install a pellet central heating boiler and commission it, price not including materials, the time amounts to about a half days work, was quoted by one recommended installer at €1000 inclusive of VAT. Materials for plumbing and flue etc. are extra. Now that's price gouging at its worst, and it is just plain sickening!! I have a great dislike of gougers, I consider it nothing less than thievery.

Government "Greener Homes" Grant has spawned green eyed monsters!

Some of the more common makes of wood pellet central heating units being sold in Ireland are the Opop and Dor Boilers with either Boink or Scotte burner mechanisms fitted. The Boilers are made in the Czech Republic and I will have the retail prices posted here soon. But be assured that the Irish price is perhaps 50 - 100% more expensive. I will also publish some retail prices for the burner units from the mainland European Continent. Again you can be sure the Irish price is 50% to 100% more expensive.

The single biggest rip-off is in the installation and commissioning prices being charged. Like €1000 one thousand Euro being asked for a single boiler installation. I kid you not! €1000 for installing ONE boiler. The installation and commissioning time amounts to roughly a half days work this information by the admission of two separate installers. The seller-installers tend to charge a bit less for installation - but then they have the sale profit don't they?