Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Wood gasification boiler experience and advice  (Read 1696 times)

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Wood gasification boiler experience and advice
« on: April 04, 2022, 10:16:11 am »
As per title, Iím wondering about a wood gasification boiler for heating and hot water to get away from oil. Itís attractive as it can be plumbed into a non pressurised, open vented system, which is what we have.
We have gravity fed own water off own spring. Heating is also done through gravity, so we arenít reliant on electricity for timers or pumps. However, would like to get off oil.
We have some woods and saws to make logs, so logs seem like the best thing to go for whereas l p g or new oil boiler or wood chip would still see us buying from other companies.

I wondered if anyone here runs wood gasification boilers and would tell me if itís straight forward or a pain in the proverbial and any pitfalls to look out for please?

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Wood gasification boiler experience and advice
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2022, 07:53:02 pm »
I have one and I like it a lot but it probably isn't for everyone.

Have you thought how you would manage getting heat on demand? With most boilers (oil, gas, pellets etc) you can set a timer or thermostat for when you want hot water but that doesn't work if it is dependent on needing you to fill it with logs (unless you are happy to get up at 5 am to light the boiler so everyone can have a shower at 7am).
The usual way of managing this is to have a thermal store.  Mine is a well insulated 2000 l water tank which allows me to always have heat on demand. This means I only have to load and light the boiler over every 2 days in a cold winter and every 7 or 8 days in summer.

If you know how much oil you use you should be able to calculate how much heat you need to store to last a day and so how big a thermal store you need.

Also, use your oil consumption to estimate how much wood you will need in a year (about 2.5kg wood equals 1 litre of oil) and consider that you really want to be able to store 2 years worth of wood.

Consider space requirements - a large boiler, thermal store and lorry load of wood won't all fit in a normal airing cupboard!

I don't know about other makes but my boiler won't function without electricity as it needs it's computer brain to control the fan which ensures the fire burns hot enough to gasify the wood.

I would definitely get another one if this one ever dies but it isn't for everyone.

I'm happy to answer any questions about it.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Wood gasification boiler experience and advice
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2022, 08:29:18 pm »
We have one, but on a pressurised system, only runs the CH, we have SF rayburn for hot water (runs on wood).

Hubs is a heating engineer, says your system would have to be quite complicated, and in a cellar for hot water to 'rise' and circulate.
Ours needs electric for fan and pump, he says they are very good, but you would have to run at 80c, with a mixing valve if you want a lower temperature,  otherwise they tar up, you would need a shunt pump across the boiler,
He took the controls off ours and put on an electronic temperature contoller.


He only runs ours in the evening, currently on waste wood from joiner etc, but we had a wood planted to supply wood for the house/heating.
Don't forget your wood needs to be seasoned, stacked dry if possible, all takes space and time,
But it's said burning wood warms you 3 times, cutting down, sawing up, and when burning  :)

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Wood gasification boiler experience and advice
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2022, 06:32:44 pm »
Thanks to both of you for your comments. Iím sure Iíll be back with questions once Iíve digested and discussed everything.

 

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