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.


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