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experience of Gilles wood chip boiler

  • 12-08-2014 8:54am
    Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭

    I am looking at different heat systems at the moment for a new build house.
    I like the idea of wood boiler but do not want to be dependant on wood pellets.

    Has anybody had experience of the Gilles woodchip multifuel boiler, which can take chip, pellet, logs etc. ?
    Experience of its quality, reliability, pricing etc...
    Or has anyone got experience with other alternative multifuel boilers?



  • Registered Users Posts: 648 ✭✭✭PeteHeat

    Most wood chip boilers are originally designed with three phase motors, they are changed to single phase to suit the Irish domestic market, this leads to problems unless your wood chip supply is as near as perfect as wood pellet because the adapted motors tend to jam and burn out easily also you need to be sure you have a local supplier of good quality wood chip willing to deliver in the smaller amounts required for most domestic storage.

    ETA have a good system where the delivery goes into reverse to clear blockages, it also has a slicing blade to cut over sized chips, a good system but at a cost.

    There were a lot of multi fuel units on the market that appear to be no longer available on the Irish market so I suggest you do a lot of research, I know one dealer who changed all the motors back to three phase using a single to three phase converter at considerable cost which is why they no longer sell wood chip systems.

    If you want a boiler that allows alternative fuels and can get black oats the Verner boiler works well with both black oats and wood pellet, like everything the settings do need to be changed when you change fuels.

    This also raises the question of fuel storage, do you have the room for or are you willing to invest in two separate fuel storage tanks?

    Wood chip tends to work very well for industrial / commercial systems, black oats suit tillage farmers who can set aside a few acres for fuel when growing food stock such as wheat.

    There are wood pellet boilers that work with logs, however their is always a downside in efficiency to mixing fuels, a boiler like the Grant Spira is designed for burning wood pellet at very high efficiencies, the Atmos or Attack will burn logs at good efficiency because they are designed as wood gasifiers.

    I suggest that you first check out which fuels are freely available to you that you can store with ease and will work on an automated delivery system unless you have the time to top up the boiler on a regular basis.

    Another (possibly cheaper) option you may wish to consider is to install an oil boiler as a back up if you have doubts about the reliability of a wood pellet system.