Fuelling your Boiler


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Presentation given at the CLA's Woodfuel Conference at Doddington Hall on Wednesday 30 October by Gary Battell, Suffolk County Council Woodland and Woodfuel Adviser.

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Fuelling your Boiler

  1. 1. Gary Battell Suffolk County Council Woodland & Woodfuel Advisory Officer gary.battell@suffolk.gov.uk Fuelling your boiler Government Business Award Winner Ashden Award Winner Confor Oscar Award Winner
  2. 2. Lincolnshire – Woodfuel Potential 408 x 50 kW boilers
  3. 3. Lincolnshire Woodfuel Potential
  4. 4. Three main ways to fuel your boiler Boiler & Woodland Owner • Typically rural estates with their own resource supplying their own boiler/s Woodfuel Purchaser • Single or multiple end users purchasing wood under a supply purchase/contract. Heat Supply ESCo • Energy Services Company supplies heat (and boiler/s) to an end user via a heat meter.
  5. 5. Fuelling your boiler • Fuel storage design is crucial – Your fuel supplier / chipper operator should be project design partners. • Have adequate access and avoid side slope. • In urban areas and in retrofits pellets should be considered to reduce number of deliveries / noise & storage. • Optimum size of storage = 1.5 x 2 delivery size = 20m3 - 30m3 - 68m3 - 110m3 • Keep fuel deliveries to a minimum – they are costly!
  6. 6. • Boiler owners will go where the cheap supply is... • but woodfuel suppliers will always have to meet the boiler manufacturers fuel specification.
  7. 7. Cheap fuel = Big Problems (MDF, plastic, metal and stones)
  8. 8. Fuel Supply 1. Have your fuel supply in place at the design stage of the project. 2. Buy / produce CEN standard fuels. 3. Use industry standard delivery methods, fittings and pipe sizing. 4. Shop around for your fuel; the local supplier maybe be able to provide quality fuel at a reduced price e.g. Pellets £230 / £185 = 19.56% saving.
  9. 9. CEN Standards are useful for buyers and sellers of woodfuel Boilers will require fuel to specific CEN standards Methods and characteristics can be measured by: • • • • • Sampling Particle size Bulk density Moisture content Ash content
  10. 10. CEN/TC 335 biomass standards About CEN/TC 335 CEN/TC 335 allows all relevant properties of the fuel to be described, and includes both normative information that must be provided about the fuel, and informative information that can be included but is not required. Specifications The fuel specifications and classes for all solid biofuels are set out in CEN/TS 14961:2005, which defines certain parameters and property classes. Normative specifications for wood chips: • Origin • Particle size (P16/P31.5/P45/P63/P100) • Moisture content (M20/M25/M30/M40/M55/M65) • Ash content (A0.7/A1.5/A3.0/A6.0/A10.0) Normative specifications for chemically handled wood or used wood: • Nitrogen (N0.5/N1.0/N3.0/N3.0+) Informative specifications for wood chips include: • Net energy content (lower heating value (LHV)) as MJ/kg or kWh/m3 loose • Bulk density in kg/m3 loose • Chlorine content (Cl0.03/Cl0.07/Cl0.10/Cl0.10+) • Nitrogen (N0.5/N1.0/N3.0/N3.0+) Many other properties may also be specified, including concentrations of many other elements and volatile matter and ash melting behaviour. Different specifications are required for different fuels, and for pellets and briquettes these include mechanical durability and particle density.
  11. 11. EN 14961, structured by mass fractions Standard Main fraction Fines Coarse fraction P > 80% <5% <1% P16 3.15 ... 16 mm <1 mm > 45 mm <85 mm P45 3.15 ... 45 mm <1 mm > 63 mm <120 mm P63 3.15 ... 63 mm <1 mm > 100 mm <350 mm P100 3.15 ... 100 mm <1 mm > 200 mm <350 mm Extreme values
  12. 12. Woodfuel consumers can be confident if they purchase their fuel from a supplier who is accredited under a woodfuel assurance scheme. Independent quality testing ensures that the producer and the supplier know how to make or supply fuel that will be correct for a boiler and comply to the CEN standards. Accreditors take a simple, practical approach to accreditation, but they do undertake a stringent quality evaluation regime that means woodfuel production costs can be kept down whilst quality improves.
  13. 13. A reliable source of correctly specified woodfuel is vital to the efficient, trouble-free operation of a biomass boiler. The majority of boiler problems arise from poor quality fuel of the wrong specification. (90% +)
  14. 14. Felling while the sap is up will mean more bark is removed – this will aid seasoning
  15. 15. Hygiene at all stages from the forest to the boiler are vital
  16. 16. Do not store wood on shady, damp and windless rides, it will never dry
  17. 17. Stack and store your wood in a dry sunny location
  18. 18. Use bearers to keep your woodfuel off the ground
  19. 19. Try and keep species, large and small diameter timber in separate stacks (One year for most conifer species depending on spp./dia. & location)
  20. 20. Keep gaps between the rows for better air circulation
  21. 21. Date your stacks
  22. 22. It’s dangerous to stack timber too high. 2m by ROW and 3m max.
  23. 23. All the debris in high heaps gets into the lower logs and creates poor woodchip
  24. 24. Store your wood close to the chipping site and woodchip storage
  25. 25. Snow melts in this country!
  26. 26. Covering heaps is a good idea, especially when producing fuel for small boilers
  27. 27. You might have to buy or sell wood and buy woodchip
  28. 28. 5.5 % Fresh felled timber Chipping Drying outside Drying inside Ready for use
  29. 29. 26.9%
  30. 30. Chipping companies are offering varying services & outputs that meet client needs
  31. 31. Do not store woodchip outside and expect to see it at below 30% MC!
  32. 32. Moisture content is crucial - it should always be below 30%
  33. 33. Test the moisture content
  34. 34. Producing good quality woodfuel 1. Season your wood in a dry, sunny and windy location. 2. Put your logs on bearers. 3. Keep your heaps at least 1m apart. 4. Chip your wood in August / September. 5. Store conifer a minimum of 1 year * 6. Store hardwood a minimum of 2 years * 7. Consider splitting larger diameter logs. 8. Use the correct sieves in the chipper. 9. Use sharp blades. 10. Store the woodchip undercover. 11. Store chip in a store with good wind circulation. • This does vary according to species, diameter and UK location.
  35. 35. CEN standard woodchip is essential to running an efficient woodchip boiler. It is easy to achieve
  36. 36. Store your woodchip undercover in a well ventilated store
  37. 37. Manage your woodchip heaps so that you can always get the driest fuel
  38. 38. A simple gale breaker door can provide air flow & stop rain ingress
  39. 39. This would not be an adequate woodchip store
  40. 40. This is now a highly suitable woodchip store that was achieved through partnership working
  41. 41. Chip Store - Points to consider Direct chipping / chip delivery design Log storage – Close to the store Access – for chipper and delivery vehicles around the store Hygiene – Hard standing for wood prior to chipping From chipper to store – Make sure you can move the chip fast enough Air flow around logs and in the store Sealed lower joints to stop water ingress Guttering Access to two heaps of woodchip
  42. 42. Using existing equipment to load your fuel hopper is the cheapest option
  43. 43. Delivery with a high-lift trailer works very well
  44. 44. Blown delivery is a quick & easy. Blown delivery will limit you to fewer suppliers
  45. 45. Underground storage maybe effective on large scale biomass projects
  46. 46. Summary of current prices (Standing) Hardwoods • Milling oak (planking) £165 - £250 /m3 £6-£9 /Hft • Milling oak (beaming) £100 - £125 /m3 £3.60-£4.50 /Hft • Milling ash £60 - £90 /m3 £3.60-£4.50 /Hft • Firewood (mixed species) £12 - £20 /m3 £0.43-£0.72 /Hft Softwoods • Sawlogs £18 - £24 /m3 £0.65-£0.87 /Hft • Bars £8 - £12 /m3 £0.29-£0.43 /Hft • Chip £0 - £10 /m3 £0 - £0.36 /Hft Biomass at roadside £20 - £24 /m3 £0.72 - £0.87 /Hft £24 & £165
  47. 47. CW Chip £/tonne CW Chip £/tonne NCH Chip £/tonne NCH Chip £/tonne £165 / £211 £165 / £211 Equiv. £/kWh 5.5 p/kWh Heating Oil/Gas Oil 19.28 p/litre Equiv. £/litre 54p/litre 6.39 p/kWh Equiv. £/kWh 5.5 p/kWh Heating Oil/Gas Oil £24 / £62 1.78 p/kWh Natural Gas £24 / £62 Natural Gas 69.37 p/litre Equiv. £/litre 54p/litre
  48. 48. Natural Gas CW Chip £/tonne £60 1.72 p/kWh Equiv. £/kWh Heating Oil/Gas Oil 5.5 p/kWh 18.65 p/litre Equiv. £/litre Natural Gas NCH Chip £/tonne £74 (54 p/litre) 2.24 p/kWh Equiv. £/kWh 5.5 p/kWh Heating Oil/Gas Oil 24.33 p/litre Equiv. £/litre (54 p/litre)
  49. 49. Heating Oil/Gas Oil £ per litre £0.61 CW Chip Equiv. £/tonne £196.21 Heating Oil/Gas Oil £ per litre £0.61 NCH Chip Equiv. £/tonne £185.53
  50. 50. Good fuel and well specified boilers are giving many people highly efficient heat
  51. 51. Gary Battell Suffolk County Council Woodland & Woodfuel Advisory Officer gary.battell@suffolk.gov.uk Fuelling your boiler Government Business Award Winner Ashden Award Winner Confor Oscar Award Winner
  52. 52. © This presentation cannot be stored or reproduced in any form without permission in writing to: Gary Battell gary.battell@suffolk.gov.uk or gary.battell@afiweb.net T: 01473 264776 or M: 0750 1463832
  53. 53. Gary Battell has over thirteen years extensive practical experience within the biomass industry. He along with the late Alan Tong and Peter Brown were the initial champions for biomass at Suffolk County Council, who have installed twenty seven biomass boilers. Gary worked with the late Robert Rippengal and Clarke Willis to set up Anglia Woodfuels Ltd, a hugely successful wood chipping and woodfuel advisory cooperative that operated throughout the East of England. As a result of Suffolk County Council’s commitment to biomass Eastern Woodfuels, a new Suffolk business was set up by Sarah Brown at Bentwaters Parks to supply Suffolk County Council with woodfuel. Gary Battell advises them on the wood supply chain, chipping, storage and woodfuel quality. Eastern Woodfuel has provided Suffolk County Council with consistent excellent quality woodfuel and delivery. Gary also has offered advice to numerous private individuals, businesses and charities who have installed boilers. Suffolk County Council employ Gary as their Woodland Officer, he is also a Director of Small Woods, Heartwoods, RFS & Confor regional committee member, EWTP member and steering group member. Gary also sits on the Steering & Exec. committees of Woodfuels East and the Wild Venison Project. Gary is also an accomplished speaker and writer on woodfuel and is the creator of the Woodfuel Wizard.