Logs good, wood pellets bad? Not that simple. National Trust Wales do both

the new Penrhyn wood pellet space heater on the right. The Llanerchaeron log stove on the right

The new Penrhyn wood pellet space heater on the left. The Llanerchaeron log stove on the right

I was down in the new visitor building at Penrhyn Castle today. The building is a vision in Larch. Paul and I had popped down to have a look at the new wood pellet space heater (with a nice hot air convector built-in which heats the whole building). I had a tinge of guilt that we had not gone down the log route with its supposedly lower carbon emissions. But why pellet and is it bad or is it?

In simple carbon dioxide emission terms the log stove at Llanerchaeron tea room emits considerably less carbon dioxide per kwh than the new flash pellet stove at Penrhyn. But why was the decision taken? From the research I have looked into log stoves and they emit around 4g of carbon dioxide per Kwh vs 34g per Kwh for a wood pellet system (lots and lots of detail in this simplistic number). (ps a cheap electrically heated visitor building emits between 400 and 500g per kwh – depends whose figures you take) but why one site on pellet and the other one log? I suppose the main one for us is management and down at the nitty-gritty level. Cutting, hauling, drying, splitting, or just supply, storage, loading, cleaning. People do have a day job and at very busy site unless you get total buy-in or people see how the tech’ works with their day-to-day operation this usually will guide the fuel type. Simple question for log Do you have the space to store and time to manage?

With the two stoves highlighted above one is considerably more expensive than the other… and it’s not the one you think! The Masonry log stove is over 90% efficient and a very good space heater but is also twice the price. But we have a nice simple Clearview stove space heater in Colby Woodland Garden and this is a lot cheaper than pellet system above. Horses for courses.

ps. there is wood pellet and wood pellet. Make sure its UK made, FSC timber, Din+ type quality and as local as you can get from air-dried timber and you should have good sustainable pellet.

I do though have 12t of timber logs drying at home. It’s already warmed me twice. Cutting and moving, then chopping. Waiting 18 months for the third warming from burning

beware of statitics. you only need to change one variable like efficiency then the out come changes. domestic log stoves are only really efficient when they are flat out. Commercial pellet can be over 80% and so on

Beware of statistics. You only need to change one variable like efficiency then the outcome changes. domestic log stoves are only really efficient when they are flat-out. Commercial pellet can be over 80% efficient and so on. http://www.highlandbirchwoods.co.uk/userfiles/file%5Cpublications%5CWoodfuel%5Ccarbon%20balance%20report.pdf

 

This entry was posted in Biomass, Wales and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Logs good, wood pellets bad? Not that simple. National Trust Wales do both

  1. Roanne Evans says:

    We changed our domestic oil boiler for a wood pellet boiler, because we needed a system which is as automatic as the old one, i.e. programmed to start before we get up, self-feeding from the hopper, etc, as pellets “flow” almost like oil. We can’t always be around to feed a log burner when it needs it. Plus, if we go on holiday, we can turn everything down, and it will keep the house frost free without needing daily intervention. Not something everyone considers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s