Storing Wood Chips
The Size of the Storage and Filling It
Wood chip storage should be placed in the vicinity of the centre of the heating system, if possible. The size of the storage is commensurate to consumption and the number of chipping occasions per year.
The storage should be big enough for half a year’s amount of wood chips. In practice, if a heating target uses 3000 litres oil, it needs 40 cubic metres of storage space for wood chips.
Logistically it is extremely important to plan ahead the easiest possible way to fill the storage. There are many alternative ways of filling the storage: it can be done by blowing the chips straight from the chipper, with a front loader, or tipping the chips off a trailer.
It is not always possible to prepare the chips in the close vicinity of the heating plant, and the chips have to be put into an intermediate storage. From the intermediate storage the chips are transported to the heating plant with a front loader. As an intermediate storage can function for example a covered silo.
In case an intermediate storage is used, it is obligatory that the storage has an asphalt or concrete floor. This helps to prevent impurities such as sand and pebbles getting mixed with the chips.
Examples of how to store fuel
In this farm, the main storage for wood chips is built into an old machinery hall, from where the chips are transported with a front loader into a week silo. The floor is made of concrete to avoid impurities. Chipping is performed once a year.
Storage and boiler room built underground on a slope. Chips can easily be tipped into the silo through the hatch with a front loader.
Bio heating plant (300kWh) with integrated wood chip storage.
A fuel storage built into an old outhouse. The storage is filled with a tractor-mounted chipper through a hole on the back wall. The size of the storage is 30 m³, and it is filled twice a year. The storage is suitable for wood chips, firewood and peat. The fuel is rationed with a tub into the stoker burner in the next room.