Solid fuel boiler: what is it?
The basic principle on which solid fuel boilers work is to burn wood, coal, pallets, sawdust and other solid combustible materials in order to obtain maximum heat transfer. There are several features that distinguish a long-burning solid fuel heating device from electric or traditional gas ones. First of all, it is worth noting autonomy: a person who has made a choice in favor of solid fuel boilers as an alternative to gas or electricity does not depend on communication services that are subject to various breakdowns. In addition, their installation is relevant for regions cut off from the benefits of civilization.
Solid fuel boiler: choice by type of combustion
On the modern market, solid fuel heating boilers are represented by two types: classic and pyrolysis. The classic one works on the principle of fuel combustion with subsequent heat release. The principle of operation of the pyrolysis boiler is the afterburning of furnace gases released during the combustion of fuel.
Unlike the classic version, pyrolysis is considered more advanced and has an increased efficiency, ensuring efficient fuel combustion. In addition, solid fuel boilers with gasification have the ability to set power, lower chimney requirements, and are also equipped with a discharge fan, which ensures increased efficiency and better fuel combustion. However, solid fuel heating means of pyrolysis type of combustion are characterized by increased cost due to the fact that the internal structure of the boiler, along with increased requirements for fuel dryness, creates additional difficulties in operation. Choosing such a boiler for domestic use means providing yourself with uninterrupted heat supply for many years.
Solid fuel heating boilers can be divided into types according to the type of heat exchanger material. Cast iron, which is less susceptible to the quality of make-up water, is characterized by increased requirements for its temperature. In other words, when cold water is supplied to the return line of the heating system, destructive processes can begin in the cast-iron heat exchanger, caused by a sharp temperature drop. In addition, due to the properties of the metal, an increased burning time is provided.
A cast iron heat exchanger is much heavier than a steel counterpart, due to which the inertia of the entire heating system increases: the time interval from the moment the firewood is loaded to the heat entering the room increases significantly. However, in comparison with the rest, cast iron heat exchangers do not require intensive cleaning of carbon deposits, the appearance of which does not affect the efficiency of fuel combustion, so it is recommended to choose such a boiler for large private houses.
Fuel loading method
One of the main disadvantages of long-burning heat generators operating with coal, wood, briquettes and pallets is the need for constant fuel loading for a stable heat supply. The modern market for heating devices provides devices with manual or automatic feed, provided by special screws. The main advantage of boilers with automatic fuel supply is their autonomy: having loaded the bunker once, the boiler will work for 2-5 days, depending on the size of the tank.
The value of energy dependence when choosing a solid fuel boiler
For a private house located in a non-gasified area or places where there are power outages, a non-volatile one is the best choice, because due to natural air circulation and the absence of electrical appliances, heat will be constantly supplied. Regulation of air inflow in volatile boilers is carried out by a blower fan controlled by a power unit. Thus, in case of power outages, the boiler will cease to perform its main functions.
Single and double-circuit solid fuel boilers
Single-circuit household heating products are intended exclusively for heating, while the presence of a second circuit allows hot water supply, which is very convenient, especially for a private house. Before choosing one or another option, you need to think about whether hot water is needed in the house: installing a hot water heating device will avoid the need to heat water in various containers.
Advantages of solid fuel boilers
Solid fuel heating boilers have a number of undeniable advantages that will help to incline a person’s choice towards acquiring such a device for a private house. Among them it is worth highlighting:
- Complete environmental safety;
- Availability and low price of fuel;
- Ability to change power using the right types of fuel;
- High safety achieved through low energy consumption and fuel safety.
Disadvantages of solid fuel boilers
Despite the obvious advantages, every owner of a private house may face the disadvantages that all types of long-burning solid fuel boilers have. In most cases, they are associated with the features of the operation of the heat generator, among which are:
- The need for frequent refueling;
- Smoke emission in boilers with top loading;
- The need to constantly maintain the temperature of the water;
- The duration and laboriousness of warming up during cold starts;
- Service frequency.
However, most owners of country houses, before choosing domestic solid fuel heat generators, prefer to familiarize themselves with these shortcomings. Moreover, the benefits often outweigh them. However, neglecting the minuses in the future can lead to serious consequences.
Rules for the operation of solid fuel heating devices
Before choosing the right device, it is worth remembering that long-burning heat generators operating at high powers should in no case be left unattended. When checking the draft or the presence of fuel in the heat exchanger, it is necessary to use protective gloves. Operation must be carried out exclusively by adults. To avoid fires, the fuel must be stored in a dry room at a distance of at least 1 meter from the heat exchanger.
For stable operation, the boiler must be cleaned every few months, since the ash accumulating inside the heat exchanger can lead to a decrease in efficiency, and therefore heating efficiency. To avoid this, it is necessary to choose the right fuel, which is the key to long burning.
What should be remembered when choosing a solid fuel boiler?
Boilers made of cast iron have increased reliability in comparison with steel counterparts. In addition, the principle of their operation is that in the event of failure of one of the sections of the heat exchanger, it can be replaced with a new one. However, the construction of a cast-iron heat exchanger makes it difficult to clean, however, the use of dry types of high-quality fuel helps to reduce the intensity of cleaning, which is especially important for a private house that uses a long-burning heat generator.
A steel solid fuel boiler for a summer residence is simple in design, however, it requires more frequent cleaning, as well as additional security measures. However, the modern market allows customers to choose a heat generator with high technical characteristics, regardless of the material from which the boiler is made. To ensure stable operation, it is important to follow all the operating rules prescribed in the instructions.