With the onset of cold weather, the issue of heat generation becomes relevant for both private households and schools, hospitals, and small enterprises. Gas prices cannot suit everyone – the maintenance of a gas boiler in some cases becomes ruinous for a modest budget.
An alternative to gas units is solid fuel pellet, working on agricultural waste and woodworking industry.
When maintaining a gas boiler house, an amount of 1020 – 1140 hryvnias (1.02 – 1.14 hryvnias per 1 kW) is spent on generating 1 MW of heat, and a pellet – 370 – 460 hryvnias (0.37 – 0.46 hryvnias per 1 kW ) With the same temperature regimes saved on the use of a pellet boiler, the funds will be enough for at least one more cold season.
It is worthwhile to dwell in more detail on small-capacity boiler houses (250-300 kW), heating rooms with an area of up to 3000 square meters. The heat consumption for the heating season, for example, is assumed to be 526 Gcal.
When using gas for heating, its consumption in the season will be about 83 thousand cubic meters, which ultimately will require investments in the amount of 705 – 788, 5 thousand hryvnias. Given that gas boiler houses are fully automated, staffing staff is not required. The only drawback of this option is that the fuel price is too high.
When using firewood for heating, their consumption in the season will be 410 cubic meters. Invest in the acquisition of this amount of fuel will need 82-103 thousand hryvnias. Firewood is loaded into the boiler furnace in batches, which will require participation in the stoker process. With an average salary of 4 thousand hryvnias per month for 6 months of the cold season, the stoker will have to pay 24 thousand hryvnias of salary. The total costs will total 106-127 thousand hryvnias, which is six (6.21) times less than what would have to be paid for gas.
When using coal for heating, its consumption will be about 120 tons, which will require investments in the amount of 216-264 thousand hryvnias. Coal boilers are not equipped with automated loading, so you will also need to pay for the work of the stoker (4 thousand hryvnias per month for all six months of the cold season, totaling 24 thousand hryvnias). Thus, the total costs will amount to 240-288 thousand hryvnias, which is almost three times (2.74) less than the amount that would have to be paid for gas.
The use of pellet fuel as an alternative to gas will require investments of 240-300 thousand hryvnias (for 140 tons of pellets). Pellet boilers are automated, but require supervision and need periodic cleaning (about once every one and a half to two weeks), so you will need to pay for the work of the stoker. Since his work is difficult to call physically difficult, the salary can be conditionally taken equal to 2700 hryvnias per month (total – 16200 hryvnias). The total cost of this heating option will amount to 256.2-316.2 thousand hryvnias, which is two and a half times (2.49) lower than the amount spent on the operation of a gas boiler of similar capacity.
Considering the size of the saved amount (472.3 thousand hryvnias for each heating season) and the average cost of a pellet boiler with a productivity of 250-300 kW, amounting to 450-600 thousand hryvnias, the payback period of the equipment will be a maximum of two seasons.
The use of wood pellets as fuel provides several significant advantages:
- space saving (unlike a 120-ton coal or 410 cc wood storage bin, the pellet fuel bin is small; weekly loading of the bin is often practiced with wood pellets supplied in big bags or 15 kg bags;
- environmental friendliness (in contrast to the large amount of soot thrown into the air by coal boilers and the territory is clogged with dust (sawdust when using firewood), pellet boilers are “clean” in every way);
- high safety (low fire and explosion hazard);
- reliability and a high level of automation;
- access to all parts of the equipment during maintenance and repair.