Best fuel to store.... coal?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Blackjack, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I was wondering, what would it take to store coal for a long period of time? Just a dry spot? After all, it's not like a little age will hurt it, it's already a million years old. A steam engine generator and a pot belly stove and you'd be set for heat and electricity.

    What does coal cost these days anyway?

    Anyone have experience? Suggestions?
  2. ~kev~

    ~kev~ Monkey+++


    It would help if you would tell us what the "fuel" is going to be used for. My personal stock of fuel is kerosene for lanterns and a space heater along with wood for cooking on my bar-b-que pit. Keep in mind - let everything be dual purpose. Coal for a pot belly stove - what else? Can coal be used in a fire place, or used to cook with (besides a stove)?

    Wood - bar-b-que pit, pot belly stove, camp fire and fire place.

    Keresone - lanterns, hand cleaner, and space heaters.

    Coal - pot belly stove & ?? - I really do not know. Unless you had a home furnace that used coal??

    I do not use coal nor do I have any plans on using it nor do I have any plans or stockpiling it.
  3. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    .... I said a potbelly stove and a steam engine to run a generator. I figure since we used to run giant locomotive trains off coal, a little home generator would be a piece of cake.

    Sorry I should have excluded vehicle fuel in my original post... Although if you stuck to electric vehicles you could recharge with the above mentioned generator.

    maybe? I'm just guessin here :)
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Coal will weather over time, and it sorta depends on the quality and source. If your potbelly is rated for coal, you are good to go.

    As far as a steam engine is concerned, you begin to deal with technology that is not yet (but nearly) forgotten. The problem will not be with the engine (most likely) but the boiler will drive you nuts. Not only do you need to watch the fire, you need to make sure the water you are feeding it is pretty good and clean, or you'll muck up the tubes. Then, the feed pump will want attention. Not saying it can't be done, it can; it's just some ups and downs that cannot be forgotten. The best use is probably in a tribal cluster setting rather than an individual or small group BO plan.

    Think about smoke, too. Dead givaway to your location, if that is of any particular interest.
  5. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Alcohol fuel will be a good one, clean burning, and can be made very easy.
  6. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Well ghrit, since you illuminated the downsides of the steam engine, I guess it's not such a good idea. It does sound a bit too labor and attention intensive.

    I guess you could run a stirling engine off coal, but I don't know much about them either.

    Prolly best to stick with more modern/common fuels.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You could probably run a small stirling engine off your potbellied stove somehow. But I haven't ever seen one big enough to generate significant power. Those I have seen are palm of the hand sized demo units, not much more than toys. Neat concept.
  8. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Might not work for you, but it would for other people, store a chainsaw and gas. Plant some oak trees, the smaller round wood burns great, doesn't need splitting.
  9. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Got more trees than I know what to do with, but the shelf life on the gas is only what, 3-4 years?
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The steam engine theng Can be done but as mentione it DEMANDS attention. I have talked with folks who do it as a hobby and one of the sayings that is common is 'theres a stick of dynamite in every pint of water', basicly every pint (or less) of water, once turned to steam has at least as much energy as a stick of dynamite and it is being heated in a large sealed metal container. If there is a problem you have a big bomb going off with lots of shrapnel. That said it is a relatively simple (concept wise) type of engine and works well if properly run.

    As far as the coal another important use would be if you set up a forge and learn to do some blacksmithing then you could become VERY popular and valuable (pronounced protected as a comodity) to your comunity in a EOTWAWKI situation by being able to make the needed tools from scrap metal. Coal forges do work VERY well, its how I learned to smith and made some of my best knives that way.
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