…to the burning question?

Scared by the rising cost of home heating oil? You are not alone.

More and more people are becoming concerned about the cost of heating their homes. And no wonder. The chart shows how the cost of heating oil has almost doubled in 3 years.

Cost of home heating oil

In fact I have receipts from 15/12/2001 (yes, I’m a hoarder!) showing the price of Kerosene at 35.65 cent per litre.

                 So, what’s the answer to the burning question?Burning question

 Where do we turn for heat?

 The answer is forward to the past………

We can heat our homes with wood, but using new technology to increase efficiency and take the hard work out of the process by using a wood gasification boiler.

I hear you ask? a what? a wood what? Well, here’s the science bit!

Wood gasification boilers provide a convenient, safe, and environmentally responsible way to heat your home and hot water. Wood gasification boiler owners are ensured of high heating efficiency, low heating costs, and use of an abundant, locally available, renewable fuel. The wood gasification combustion technology is the most efficient way to burn firewood.  Additionally, this high efficiency burn technology produces little or no creosote, virtually eliminating the risk of a chimney fire and greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In conventional wood fired boilers, after the initial burning of the fuel, a large amount of combustible gas is released.  This gas accounts for an amazing 50% of the wood fuel energy.
Unfortunately, due to inefficient combustion, conventional wood boilers fail to capitalize on this abundant fuel energy; in fact most of it is lost up the flue!

A Wood gasification boiler utilizes a combustion technology called ‘Gasification’ to capture, extract and transfer this energy that standard wood boilers simply waste.

The gasification process..Wood Gasification ProcessAs the wood is burned in the firebox, fresh air is blown through the logs.  As this hot smoke and air mixture is forced into the combustion chamber, it is mixed with a second jet of super-heated air.
This results in a torch like combustion of the retained gases, at spectacular temperatures exceeding 1800 degrees.

The result: almost all the gases are burned, with little residual soot or creosote, and the extra energy extracted is transferred to a full jacket heat exchanger. This extraordinary process allows wood gasification boilers to achieve overall thermal efficiencies of greater than 90%!

This translates quite simply into more hot water for heating and domestic use, almost complete fuel efficiency, and significant savings in your annual fuel bill.

The right choice of the accumulator (or buffer) tank plays an important role when heating with wood. Every heating system must be large enough to cope with the coldest days of the year. During most of the heating period, however, only part of the heat produced is required immediately. Accumulator tanks ensure that no valuable energy is lost by storing the excess heat and releasing it back into the heating system or the hot-water tank as required.

As a result, you can get through the day with fewer heating intervals, and will benefit from heating in the optimum operating condition for longer. Another advantage of using the buffer tank is the cozy warmth which is still there early in the morning, without having to re-stoke the boiler.

Wood gasification heating system

Wood gasification heating system

A wood gasification boiler can only operate with high efficiency and low emissions if your wood has the right moisture content. Properly seasoned firewood should have a moisture content of less than 20 per cent (maximum 25%)

Burning wet wood will result in poor performance and is one of the top barriers to pleasurable, efficient wood burning. It is also very important to split the wood to the proper size for your burner chamber, in order to stack it correctly for efficient combustion.

My post “wood …the natural answer”  has all the information on how to choose and season the wood fuel for your boiler.

And remember always look for the labelWood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme for Ireland

The Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme for Ireland provides a simple but reliable way for consumers to purchase quality wood fuels that are accurately described and meet the supplier’s stated product specifications.

About Pat Murphy

True to me; Mother, Wife, Friend, Environmentalist; Living comfortably; Being warm; Knowing what's enough; Chair of WFQA (Irish wood fuel quality assurance scheme)
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9 Responses to …to the burning question?

  1. Ciaran Reid says:

    Excellent Article Pat makes you think…..

  2. John Grace says:

    Very interesting Pat looking forward to more

  3. tom says:

    What kind of cost are you talking about for an average 1200 sq foot house in terms of cap ex

    • patmcmmc says:

      Hi Tom,
      Costs depends on what system you decide on.
      And that in turn depends on what facilities you have there e.g. space, original system etc.
      Can you email me at pat@smartheat.ie. It will be easier to have a conversation there. Or indeed my number is 0872250052.

      Regards, Pat

  4. Great information to share, Pat. Having this sort of knowledge will empower homeowners to have cost-effective solutions and save on family budget. Thanks for the read.

  5. WOW !! What a Cool site and Wonderful Shared to gasification boiler, Thanks author for your awesome post and outstanding article to Plumbing Service.

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