it’s been almost a year and so what has living with the Klover 120 wood pellet range cooker been like? These series of blogs have been by far the most popular of we have written about. If some of you remember the purpose of the ‘experiment’ was to look for a viable, economic, manageable biomass cooker and central heating appliance which could simply replace the host of oil heated range cookers we have in the National Trust (Aga, Stanley, Rayburn, Esse and so on) overall it looks like we have found one! Arwyn the farm manager at Hafod y Llan and I had a review yesterday to see what it’s been like to live with the Klover. Arwyn was the victim of the good idea!
Heating. No problem at all to heat his three bedroom farm-house. We did improve the windows to give the Klover a fighting chance. If Arwyn was home all day then two 20kg bags a day would be consumed. But with his morning and evenings routine he wound go through a bag a day and half a bag a day in summer for hot water. Arwyn’s system has been set up as a bivalent which means it’s linked to a fossils fuel boiler which could be called on if needed. This has never happened! If we are to claim RHI payments then we need to remove this second boiler or we move into the dreaded heat metering and claiming instead of a simple deemed payment.
Cooking. Overall it performed well…if a little less refined than an Aga. The oven could be a tad hot (200c+ top and 180c bottom of the oven) it was a mater of trial and error at the start. The hob plate again needed getting used to but had a range of temperatures across the surface. Arwyn would advise buying a simple slot in electric plate cooker for finer cooking as he called it or for simply boiling an egg if you don’t want to bother cranking the oven up
Other aspects. The day and weekly controls are not very intuitive but once you get used to them then it’s ok. Arwyn did jam the auger feed once but he thinks it was to do with the fact he did not let the small pellet hopper empty and dust then built up. In winter heating mode Arwyn also felt the pellet was burning much cleaner and only leave a very fine ash. In Summer mode he would see some partially burnt pellet but this was not an issue. There has been talk from Klover of a hot plate cover and a vacuum feed tank to avoid having to lug 20kg pellet bags. We have yet to see. This would be of help in terms of cheaper fuel (cheaper by the tanker) and convenience. Arwyn estimates he is saving about £400 per annum with the Klover but also the house is much warmer than it used to be
Over all trial has been a success for our need and looks like we have an option for replacing oil range cookers.