Using a pellet boiler is a highly efficient and ecological heating method, ensuring comfort, even and constant warmth throughout your home. The pellet boiler is a noiseless, absolutely safe and easy to use device. It’s an investment that pays off in a short period, usually within two or three heating seasons. The main purpose of pellet boilers is heating buildings, but they can have other uses such as supplying domestic hot water in the winter season.
Pellet boilers are made of steel or cast iron and consists of three main elements: pellet boiler with a burner, pellet supplying mechanism and a hopper for storing pellets. The equipment operates by sending pellets from the hopper to the burning chamber, the fire warms the heat carrier and gives off the warmth in the premises using heating bodies such as radiators or fan coil units.
Main advantages of pellet boilers:
- Autonomous operation. The pellet boiler works autonomously and usually doesn’t need to be refueled every day. It’s equipped with a hopper with varying capacity (for compact pellet boilers usually 18 to 45kg and for bigger models there are hoppers with capacity of up to 500kg) and the fuel amount doesn’t need to be constantly monitored.
- Rational and effective fuel consumption. Pellets burn by leaving a minimal amount of ash, their price is cheaper comparing to coal or wood and the burning process is highly efficient due to the high density and low moisture levels in the pellets.
- Security and safe operation. Pellet boilers are highly automated which ensures smooth operation. The presence of independent fire prevention system, which includes control sensors, automatic fuel feed cut-off, automatic burner shut-down etc. guarantees security and safe operation.
- Simple installation, easy to use and maintain. Usually there is no need of complicated installation designs or permits as is the case of gas based systems. Most pellet boiler models are with a built-in self-cleaning system which makes the manual part of the cleaning easy, fast and it’s not needed every day.
- Ecological. Pellet boilers use eco-friendly fuel source- pellets don’t contain glue or other harmful substances and there are no harmful emissions when burning them. Carbon dioxide and ash content is about 10 times less compared to burning wood.
- Programmable. The built-in control unit allows you to set up the system based on pre-selected parameters – daily and weekly timers, different power levels, turning the pellet boiler on or off, temperature control and so on.
- WI-FI control. Some pellet boiler models are equipped with control units with built-in wi-fi modules that allow the use of an app to monitor and adjust the operation of th boiler remotely and at all times.
- High efficiency. Special design and insulation of the pellet boiler optimizes the combustion process and helps retain the heat and maintain optimal combustion temperature. Heat losses are reduced to minimum and the produced energy is directed to heating the premises which reduces costs.
Pellet boilers are classified depending on their level of automation and they can be:
- Automatic pellet boilers. They are characterized by their non-stop operation throughout the heating season. Operation cycles are under the complete control of a CPU that takes care of fuel feeding, ignition, cleaning and ash removal. This type of equipment has high price and complicated design, it’s more expensive to install and requires very precise setting of the working parameters. The automatic pellet boiler also needs a large hopper that can supply enough fuel to keep working non-stop for long periods.
- Semi-automatic pellet boilers. The main difference with automatic pellet boilers is the manual cleaning. It is not actually a disadvantage since cleaning is easy and takes little time (usually about ten minutes) and is needed about once per week.
- Mechanized pellet boilers. They have compact size, simplified design and high reliability. The relatively low price makes them a very popular choice. Cleaning the heat exchanger and the ash tray is manual but the procedure is simplified, takes a small amount of time and the frequency depends of the quality of pellets used. The hopper is smaller and needs to be refueled once in several days depending on the usage intensity.
Depending on the type of burner used, pellet boilers can use:
- Torch type burner. These are the most commonly used models for heating homes. They are compact – small combustion chamber and low powered burner. They are robust, reliable and easy to use. However they are sensitive to pellet quality and are mainly used in pellet boilers with average power.
- Burners with volumetric combustion. The pellet boilers that use this type of burner have higher efficiency and are mainly powerful and used for industrial purposes. These pellet boilers are bigger and heavier but they have low sensitivity to pellet quality.
- Drop shaft burner. These burners are installed in smaller sized pellet boilers and stoves. They are sensitive to pellet quality, but thanks to their simple design they are highly reliable and very quiet.
According to their purpose pellet boiler are two main types:
Central heating boilers. Used for heating and producing domestic hot water (DHW). The smallest models have around 12-15kW of power and the biggest can reach 2MW (2000kW). They are usually installed in a separate structure or room and that’s why their design is modest.
Boiler stoves. They are installed within the living area of the home (in a room that needs to be heated) and that’s why their design is attractive and fitting to the interior.
Classification according to:
Level of automation
Type of burner