Storing Energy Wood
The picture shows how a pile of energy wood should be built: on a slight front-lean with an eaves, high enough from the ground to avoid rising damp.
Storing the wood correctly has a significant impact on the dryness and quality of energy wood. The most important factors are location and cover. Special attention must be paid to these, so that the wood chips-to-be will have the maximum quality and energy content.
Energy wood should not be stored for more than two years. Especially hardwood starts to rot in piles. The ideal period of seasoning wood is one year, after which it will be wonderfully dry for chipping.
How to Pile and Locate the Wood
The most important factor affecting wood seasoning is the location of the storage and how it is made. The best place for storing wood is windy, dry grounded, south-facing expanse. Also enough space should be reserved for chipping and transportation equipment.
It is worth considering the placement of the storage from the point of view of road maintenance. Snowploughs passing by throw impurities such as macadam and sand on wood piles placed on roadsides, which causes problems to chippers and the end users of the product. Wood piles should not be placed over ditches.
Wood piles should be built as high as possible, and on a slight front-lean to minimize exposure to water. This position also protects the bases of the wood, as the top layer forms an eaves over the lower layers. The pile will be straight, and the tops will not lie too much on the ground.
The pile should be built high, as high from the ground as possible to avoid impurities and rising damp. As an example of suitable ground clearance is the length of cat’s tail: when a cat can walk under the pile with its tail up, there is enough space. The length of the logs stored should not be over six metres, because tree tops lying on the ground and freezing will collect impurities.
Different ways of storing energy wood. The energy gain from the pile on the right side is so low, that it is not even worth chipping.
Energy wood pile should always be built as high as possible.
The importance of decent covering of energy wood cannot be emphasized too much. The best option for a cover is paper cover, which can be chipped with the wood.
The cover should be so big that it covers the tops and also folds over the front edge. The pile is not covered up all over, because wind has to get through the pile.
Wood from an uncovered pile has the moisture content of 5–10% higher than wood from a covered pile. Chipping wood in wintertime should be avoided, because snow and ice get mixed with the chips and wet the ready fuel.