Wood Pellet Stoves and Boilers
Wood Pellet Stoves and boilers are devices that can burn biomass to produce space heating in the fall and winter in your home. It is advancement on the age old technology of open stoves, fire places or open fires. Biomass such as firewood has been abounding in the past and even now quite a quantity is available. Unlike in the days gone by, it is not possible in the present day to cut down boughs or trees as and when you need fuel for your stoves.
Man designed biomass fuel!
An answer has been found in the fuel crises hit pellet production line seventies in wood pellet, a pelletized waste product of timber and furniture manufacture. The hitherto piled up wood chips, shavings and saw dust that created a disposal problem to the industrialist, at last found a way to clear the saw mill or the factory dump yard.
Today you would find fully automated pellet boilers which you would install and forget, so to speak. A thermostat would sense your room heating need, feed in wood pellets to the burner through an auger, regulate the heat out put, and cut off when not needed. All you would have to get involved for is to clear the left over of combustion – ash.
What are wood pellets?
Wood pellets are compressed industrial waste of wood. The biomass wood is a good source of energy easily undergoing combustion and releasing huge amounts of heat energy within a stove or a boiler of a centralized hydronic system. In Europe the pellets are manufactured according to very stringent standards in line with DIN 51731 or O-Norm M 7135.
Each wood pellet is about 15-20 mm in length and has diametre of about 6 – 8 mm. It is extremely dense due to high compaction at manufacture. So much so that unlike wood it would not float in water but sink to the bottom as soon as it hit the water.
The fuel pellet is extremely dry and generally the moisture content is less than 10% at the manufacture.
However it is highly hygroscopic and unless properly stored under strictly monitored conditions, will be soggy like a crispy biscuit left exposed. This unfortunately renders the costly product useless.
The metamorphosis of pellet stove
The device which was a very business like simple steel box when it was invented in the 1930s, has changed face to an attractive piece of decoration in your living room or wherever you intend to keep it for heating and a comfortable interior. The pellet stove may be either free standing or placed as fire place insert that vent in to an exiting chimney.
The material of construction is heavy cast iron or steel which conduct and radiate heat off them. The control system electrical or electronic components and exhaust functioning sections are encased in stainless steel.
Similarly, just like the decorative stove pellet boilers and furnaces too are available depending on your requirements. The boiler used in hydronic systems have the useful property to store heat energy generated by combustion. These are mainly applied in retrofits with minimum changes to the ducting, plumbing, venting etc of the existing heating arrangement.