Wood pellets – alternative heating
Biomass is a general term covering different types of fuel such as straw, wood chips and wood pellets. This section only describes wood pellets, because they are the easiest to use in ordinary detached homes for example.
Generally speaking, the installation costs of a biofuel boiler can be recouped within 10 years in the form of savings made in your heating bill. Wood pellets are often cheaper than oil. 2.2 kg of wood pellets are equivalent to 1 litre of oil.
Wood pellet boilers
A wood pellet boiler usually comes with a hopper containing enough pellets for 3 days use. In principal, a wood pellet boiler is similar to an oil-fired boiler, with the pellet burner automatically adjusting the heat output based on demand.
Manufacture of wood pellets
Wood pellets are made by pulverizing and heating waste from the timber industry. Lignin is given off during the heating process and this acts as a sort of glue when the wood pulp is pressed into pellets. Pellets sold in Denmark may contain up to 1% lignin and additives. Wood pellets containing no additional binding agent are a carbon neutral fuel, which means that they do not contribute to global warming.
The quality of wood pellets can vary but, if producers request it, the quality can be checked impartially by the Danish Technological Institute. Danish consumers can view a list of quality guaranteed pellets on the Institute’s website.
Choosing a wood pellet boiler
Choose a boiler with high efficiency rating. The Trust’s plumbing and equipment pages list a range of boilers which are all A-rated.
Danish consumers must contact a chimney sweep once the chimney has been installed. The sweep will inspect and approve the chimney, which will then be registered on a database of chimneys requiring inspection and cleaning by law.
Danish consumers can download a draft agreement (currently only in Danish) which they can use when asking for estimates.
Installing a wood pellet boiler. The environment will benefit from a saving of 12,000 kg of CO2 per year if you replace your electrical heating with a wood pellet system. How much money you save depends on the cost of electricity and wood pellets.
Removal of electric panel radiators
The installer’s first task is to remove your electric panel radiators and the immersion heater.
Installation of central heating pipes and radiators
New radiators with thermostatic valves will generally be mounted on the wall in the same locations as your old electric panel radiators.
Construction of chimney
The chimney is constructed in the location agreed, either adjacent to the house or routed through the roof. Check the building regulations and, when the time comes, ask your chimney sweep to choose and construct the chimney. You can build the chimney yourself as long as you comply with the building regulations. However, in Denmark, your chimney sweep is responsible for inspecting and approving the chimney before it can be used. The sweep will also register the chimney on a database of chimneys that require inspection and cleaning by law.
Installation of wood pellet boiler
A wood pellet boiler takes up very little room and can be installed in the utility room, basement or outbuildings where there is sufficient space to establish a fuel cell for the boiler. For ease of handling, a hopper for storing the pellets should be installed near the boiler. You should always make sure that you comply with all the current regulations in connection with the boiler installation. Last but not least, the boiler is connected to the central heating system and the chimney.
The central heating system is filled with water and tested for leaks. The system is then started up and the installer will perform a full system test for all functions. They will then show you how to operate the system.