We installed an Attack DP 35kw split log gassification boiler in 2011 and we have used it now for two winters. It can take up to 600mm length split logs below 20% moisture. We can also use waste wood, pallets and briquettes if necessary.The boiler is linked to a 2000 litre Akvaterm accumulator tank and the entire installation is located in a purpose built boiler shed which is similar in size to a single garage.
The boiler is a bit bigger than a domestic washing machine, but takes up quite a bit of space with the 7" diameter flue etc. The tank however is nearly 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide! The build quality is good and the finish is tidy but functional.
The installation is a "batch burn" system so we only light the boiler when we need to heat up the water in the accumulator tank. The house then decides when it wants to draw hot water either for the hot water cylinder or for the central heating. In the winter we are lighting and running the boiler every 2-3 days. We don't use it during the summer at all as our Photo Thermal panel provides all the hot water we need. When the boiler is "on" we need to fill up the combustion chamber every 3 hours, which for a 12 hour burn would be 4 times. This is manageable with our lifestyle as one of us is usually home in the afternoons to light the boiler when required and we can fill it up before going to bed at night.
The boiler provides heat and hot water in the winter for the entire new build 4 bedroom house (250sqm). It is easy to light the boiler - you need a newspaper and a box of matches! It is very simple to operate with only one adjustable parameter. The combustion chamber regulates air intake automatically to adjust combustion speed. The system is easy to use once the parameters are set up, push two buttons and light the fire and leave it to get on with it. The ash is emptied manually once every couple of weeks and the amount wouldn't even fill a bucket.
The key to the system is topping up the tank before it gets too cold, this reduces the length of time you need to burn for and means that the house can always draw heat when it needs it. The other key is to be organised with wood. We will use approx 10 tons of wood in a season and we use cubic meter bags (tote bags) which lasts a week in the winter. We handle the bags with the front loader on our tractor and there is space for a bag right next to the boiler door. In theory the first time we touch a log is to throw it on the fire! Having 10 tons of dry wood in store at the start of the winter is no mean feat!
The system does need electricity to power the gassification fan and to pump the water through the boiler, so if we get a powercut lasting more than a couple of days, we have a wood burning stove in the house to huddle round.
The downsides to the system are space taken up by the boiler, tank and fuel store, the manual work involved in organising the wood, lighting and stoking and the inconvenience if you are away for a few days in the winter and come home to a cold house. The upfront capital cost would choke a horse compared to a small oil boiler.
On balance, this installation suits our lifestyle and we have the space to store the wood, it is therefore not for everyone.
We order a ton of briquettes once each winter which helps to supplement our wood burning boiler. It is a really useful fuel for slow burning and maintaining a constant high heat over a long period of time. The briquettes are clean, very dry and consistent. The supply and delivery service from Argyll Woodfuels is excellent and very convenient from initial email requesting a price to delivery right to our shed.
We will quote you for delivery of materials you buy from us because each order is considerably different.
We will deliver to Lochgilphead, Campbeltown, Inveraray, Strachur, Dalmally, Tyndrum, Taynuilt, Connel, Benderloch, Appin, Duror and in Oban. We will also deliver to all the island carriers. Please tell us if you would like your order delivered and whether you need it unloaded by hand into storage. If you can tell us how accessible your storage is then we will be able to deliver with the right vehicle and people. If you would prefer to do this by telephone please ring 01631 563271 during business hours.
You are more than welcome to visit our yard to pick up your order, free of charge.