Pellets have long been used by European owners, and have proven to be an excellent replacement for wood or gas with independent heating. For Ukraine, this is a novelty, to which the majority treats with caution. Our compatriots are in no hurry to purchase pellet boilers, fearing that the cost of heating and maintenance will only increase in the end. And the first question that arises for all those who trust the experience of the Old World and is going to switch to an alternative type of heat carriers – how much will it cost to warm a house during the cold season? This is the question we will try to answer below.
Experience is the son of difficult mistakes
It is easiest to calculate the required number of pellets in the event that the autonomous heating has already been installed and it has been working properly for several years. You know exactly the flow rate of the heat carrier used, and, having decided to switch to a new system, it is sufficient to simply compare the numbers. It was experimentally revealed that burning one ton of pellets gives as much energy as:
five cubic meters of wood;
five hundred cubes of gas;
five hundred liters of diesel;
seven hundred liters of fuel oil.
For example, if your solid fuel boiler consumed thirty cubic meters of firewood per season to maintain a comfortable temperature in the house, then pellets for the same time period would require six tons. By the method of elementary substitution of values, you will receive an approximate amount of materials required for boiler operation.
Arithmetic is the foundation
A completely different situation is when a building is new or previously heated from a centralized network. There is no data on fuel consumption, which means that it is necessary to refer to averaged values. Of course, there is no talk of absolute accuracy, but there is simply no other way to calculate. The formula looks like this:
70 * 100 * 24 * 180 * 0.7 / (specific heat of combustion of pellets)
70 – the average amount of heat required to heat one square meter of a building is considered in W / m2;
100 – the total area that needs to be heated, you can substitute any value, it is considered in m2;
24 – hours in days, because the boiler will work day and night;
180 – the average number of days of the heating period, is a variable value for regions with different climates;
0.7 – the load of the boiler, which extremely rarely operates at full capacity (it would be equal to 1, but reaches this value only when the outside temperature is 25 C), is considered in W / h;
The last figure can be obtained from the manufacturer, it is measured in kW / kg and for wood pellets it is about 4.7, straw 4, and about 5 from sunflower.
For example, using fuel from wood shavings or sawdust, we find that for six months the boiler works in a 100-meter house, it will take four and a half tons.
Nobody will say for sure
All these calculations are only theory. In real life, there are too many factors affecting the actual consumption of pellets. It is simply impossible to take into account, let alone calculate, all of them, because these include:
temperature outside the window;
comfortable climate for residents;
heating system efficiency;
the presence of a layer of insulation on the walls of the building;
the frequency of opening doors and windows.
And even the presence of drafts affects the total coolant flow. You will know the exact meaning only by experience, and the above formula will help orient at least approximately, so that by the end of winter, when the cold is still felt, not to be left without household warmth and comfort.