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Equipment Choices


Different kinds of stoker burners. Filling is done manually or with a tractor front loader.

Individual Solutions as a Starting Point

When choosing a heating plant, various different things such as power demand for heating, space available, personal work contribution to the heating process and most of all, the money invested in the heating plant, affect the decision.

In practise, there are so many different boilers and other solutions for different biofuels that a bio heating system can be built almost into any kind of space. Usually more troubling is the process of finding or planning and building a properly functioning, right-sized, and as affordable storage for the fuel as possible.

Building a bio heating plant is very beneficial, if old, already existing buildings are utilised. When building a bio heating plant, were it totally new or built by using old buildings and/or materials, the aim should always be at a seven-year payback time at the most, after which the plant would produce positive results. The shorter the payback time, the better.

There are two types of bio combustion devices: devices with an unloader and stoker burners. Small and medium-sized combustion devices can be used in burning practically all solid biofuels, including pellet.

Heating with a Stoker Burner

Stoker is an automatic feeder-burner combination. To ensure fire safety, the stoker has an airproof roof, a chip container made of steel, an unloader, a screw conveyor, and a grate that is placed in the burner.

In a stoker burner nearly all biofuels can be burned: wood chips, peat, pellet, saw dust, and briquettes, and you can always choose the cheapest one available at the moment of buying. Also grain can be burned in a stoker burner, but due to its high ash content, grain should only be burned temporarily. If the burner is converted into a mechanical grate incinerator and the boiler is equipped with an automatic ash extractor, grain can be burned on a regular basis.  

Combustion Device with an Unloader

If fuel consumption is high, the fuel storage should be automated with an unloader. The unloader transports chips, peat, or other biofuel straight to the burner. Different solutions make it possible to automate even very small silos, of the size of just few cubic metres, or big fuel storages containing hundreds of cubic metres of fuel.

At full stretch, a 100 kWh boiler uses 3,5–4 cubic metres of wood chips. The annual consumption is 300 cubic metres f wood chips.

There are different kinds of unloaders to choose from: spring agitator, hydraulic scraper and drag conveyor. An unloader always has a feeding system, because the fuel comes from a silo and not from an airproof metal tank like in smaller systems.

The feeding system can be either a rotary feeder or a drop shaft system. The unloader feeds the fuel automatically to the screw, which takes the fuel to the burner.


On the left side a spring agitator system, which moves wood chip automatically to the screw conveyor. The screw conveyor takes the fuel to the burner in the next room. On the right side a rotary feeding system, through which the fuel is taken to the burner.

Large Bio Heating Devices

The actual combustion technique is nearly always the same, were the heating system large or small. The biggest difference is in the fuel feeding system. A feeding system is used in all large heating plants. The bigger the heating plant, the stronger and more effective the feeder is.

Preparing for Service Breaks

The heating plant should possess some accessories in case of momentary shutdowns, such as service breaks, some unexpected incidents, or, for example holidays. Rational planning and preparing guarantees a secure and continuous functioning of the plant.

Oil burner is a worthy accessory to a heating plant. It is justifiable, because if needed, oil or bio diesel can be used as a temporary heating source. Alternatively, bio heating boiler can be accessorized with an electric resistance, and additionally with an oil burner.

In case of power cuts and to avoid unnecessary problem situations, the plant should have an emergency power aggregate. Also different kinds of devices for wood burning can be added to the boiler so that whatever the situation and circumstances, there should always be energy available to heat up the house.

EUBCEBiofuels-2015Bioenergia 2015Agritechnica 2015RENEXPO BucharestACERC
Power & Energy Africa 2015 Kenya
RENEXPO® BiHPower & Energy Africa 2015 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
tcbiomass2015: Technology for the Bioeconomy