If you want to heat your home with wood, the most common option is to use a woodchip boiler. Wood chip boilers are relatively new products that have only become available in recent years. They’re often used as a supplement or backup heating system for homes that already have central heating systems, but they can also be used on their own as an entire heating system if you don’t have access to natural gas or electricity. Wood chip boilers come in different sizes and styles so it’s important to research all of your options before deciding which model is right for you and your family.
Wood chip boilers are central heating systems that use wood chips as a source of fuel. These boilers burn wood chips in a combustion chamber, generating heat that is distributed throughout a building via a heating system. The heat produced by wood chip boilers can be used for various purposes, including space heating, water heating, and even powering industrial processes.
Wood chip heating systems work by burning wood chips in a combustion chamber, where the heat generated is then transferred to a heat exchanger. This heat is then used to warm water, which can be circulated through radiators or underfloor heating systems to provide warmth to your home or building. The process also produces a small amount of ash, which needs to be removed periodically.
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The efficiency of a wood chip boiler can vary depending on factors such as the design, technology, and specific model of the boiler. However, wood chip boilers are generally considered to be more efficient than log boilers due to their automated feeding systems and controlled combustion.
The efficiency of a wood chip boiler typically ranges from 80% to 90%. This means that the boiler can convert 80% to 90% of the energy in the wood chips into usable heat. Wood chip boilers can achieve these efficiency levels by optimizing combustion processes, utilizing advanced heat exchangers, and incorporating features to minimize heat loss.
Wood chips and pellets are both types of biomass fuel used in heating systems. The primary difference between the two lies in their size, shape, and production process. Wood chips are typically larger, irregularly shaped pieces of wood, while wood pellets are smaller, uniform cylinders. Wood pellets are produced by compressing sawdust or other wood waste products under high pressure, resulting in a denser and more energy-dense fuel compared to wood chips.
There are several types of wood boilers available, including:
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The cost of a wood chip boiler can vary depending on factors such as the manufacturer, model, size, and additional features. Here is a general price range for wood chip boilers:
|Type of Biomass Fuel||Price per Tonne (£)||Price for a Boiler|
|Wood Pellets||£245||From £12,999 (Automated) From £4,000 (Manually-fed)|
|Logs||£99||From £7.999 (Manual)|
|Wood Chips||£59||From £7,999 (Automated) From £4,000 (Manually-fed)|
The best way to keep the costs of fuel low is by buying in bulk in the winter. The most popular biomass fuel is wood pellets. An average house needs approximately 2-5 tons of wood pellets during the winter season.
Using renewable energy as a heating source is not just environmentally friendly but can also significantly reduce your electricity bills when you replace your old heating system.
Average running costs and carbon emissions of different fuel types per year
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|Type of Fuel||Coal||Oil||Natural Gas||Electricity||LPG||Wood Pellet||Wood Chips|
|Approximate Running Costs (£/year)||£1,499||£1,669||£999||£2,690||£1,920||£869||£895|
|CO2 Emissions (kg/year)||13,541kg||9,219kg||6,406kg||10,184kg*||7,663kg||766kg||550kg|
The woodchip boiler is a great way to heat your home, but it is not for everyone. If you have access to a large supply of woodchips, then this option may be more cost-effective than other heating methods. However, if you don’t have enough feedstock or need more control over temperature fluctuations then there are other options available such as pellet boilers which use pellets instead of chips.
Benefits of wood heat include self-reliance, lower fuel costs, environmental friendliness, and a renewable energy source. Wood heating systems can provide independence from power companies and utilize low-value wood.
The heat capacity of wood chips varies depending on their moisture content and species. Generally, wood chips have a heat capacity ranging from 8 to 20 MJ/kg.
To calculate the efficiency of a wood boiler, divide the useful heat output by the total heat input. This can be expressed as a percentage, with higher values indicating better efficiency.
Wood pellets are often cheaper than oil, as they use low-value wood that might otherwise go to waste. This makes them an affordable and environmentally friendly option.
The efficiency of wood pellets depends on the appliance used and the quality of the pellets. High-quality pellets can achieve efficiencies of over 90% in modern pellet-burning appliances.
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