Wood burner boiler and thermal store

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mortman
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Wood burner boiler and thermal store

Post: #279590 mortman
Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:59 pm

Hi All,

We have recently moved into a old 3 bed semi that has no central heating, the previous owners heated each room with 3kw heaters ( not even storage heaters ).
I'm looking to have a wood burner with a back boiler and a thermal store. I think the install will need a gas boiler as well ?
Has anyone had this set up installed ? If so how do you find it ? ie. running the system day to day ?
How much did the install cost ?
Did you get a grant to help with the costs ?
Are you receiving any money for generating eco heat ?

Kind regards

Mort

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Green Aura
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Re: Wood burner boiler and thermal store

Post: #279615 Green Aura
Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:37 pm

Hi Mortman
We have a set up similar to what you're proposing. We have a multi-fuel boiler, rather than a fire with back burner - much more efficient than a wood-burning stove but not as attractive - ours is acid yellow and about 4' tall, with lots of doors and, knobs and levers etc!

That's phase one - the next phase is to get solar pv to heat it during the summer - it has a 6kw immersion heater but that's no use to heat the thermal store from cold - it's 350l. So at the moment we're lighting the boiler about once or twice a week. That's not so bad as we had room to move a wall and the boiler now lives in its own little room (which is also brilliant for fermenting as it maintains a fairly constant temperature!!) so the rest of the house doesn't get warm. I must add that the boiler room doesn't get too warm, the boiler's remarkably well insulated, compared to the horror we replaced.

No grants, I'm afraid - the entire thing, thus far, has cost about £6k for the boiler/ new chimney/ thermal store and plumbers (it also includes the wood/plasterboard etc for building the boiler room, which we did ourselves). And no RHI either - you only qualify if you use certified suppliers/fitters. So you could damn near triple that - way out of our price range.

There may be better options for you in Wales though - we're in the wild and woolly North of Scotland. :iconbiggrin:
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Re: Wood burner boiler and thermal store

Post: #279624 Zech
Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:37 pm

Hi Mort,

We have a similar system. Ours is the lower tech wood burner with back boiler, so not quite as efficient as Green Aura's (but it was free). I say 'back' boiler - actually the boiler wraps round three sides of the stove and there are a couple of big pipes taking water through the top space as well. This gives a 70%/30% split between heat to the thermal store vs. heat to the room, which is what you want if you're trying to generate enough heat for the whole house without overheating the room that the stove's in. The only downside of this is that the top of the stove doesn't get hot enough to heat a kettleful of water, though it will keep a cup of tea warm :coffee2:

You don't need a gas boiler as well, but you might want one or two other sources of heat. We're also installing solar panels (thermal, not pv) for heat in the summer - I'm working on that part now. We have two 3kW immersion heaters - one at the bottom of the tank that we turn down low and leave on if we're away in winter, for frost protection. The other is half way up, to heat the top half for hot water, but we hardly ever use that. We don't light the fire in the summer, and mostly do without hot water. I think we'd use the immersion if we had guests staying, though. Hopefully, the solar panels will make that unnecessary soon.

We burn wood only and it is a lot of work in the winter. Even though we buy wood ready chopped, it still needs stacking and bringing indoors as we need it. Don't underestimate how much you'll need. Everyone told us it would be a lot, and it still took us by surprise how much we actually get through. Upgrading our insulation is also on the to-do list!

I believe that grants (or is it RHI?) are only available for the high-tech kind of boiler, not wood-burning stoves, and only if installed by certified installers. They're certainly not available for a second hand stove that the local pub was replacing, so we didn't investigate very far.
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