The homes form part of the Creative Energy Homes research project, managed by the University of Nottingham that aims to stimulate new design ideas for environmentally sustainable housing. (Zero Carbon Hub, 2009)
Operation: The boiler uses wood pellets for heating water to a temperature of about 74C which can then be used for hot water requirements and also for space heating. Temperature-control is achieved by means of a thermostat.
Wood pellets are a recycled by-product of sawmills and other mechanical wood-processing plants which would otherwise be discarded and go for landfill.. This clean organic product does not put demand on any fresh supply of resources; instead it is a renewable clean-burning wood-based fuel (Nu-Heat, n.d.) The process involving wood-pellet manufacture does not involve use of chemicals, instead the naturally occurring lignin in wood acts as a binding agent.
The credit for this invention goes to Mr. Jerry Whitfield of the Pyro industries of Burlington, Washington. He was the first person to demonstrate how wood pellets can be successfully used as an energy-efficient resource. He did this by creating a wood pellet burner similar to an oil burner and felt that this could be easily retrofitted to an existing hot water boiler (Chase, Victor, D., 1999).
This invention further developed into a technology involving use of wood pellets for heating purpose. ...
Wood pellet boiler system (Chase, Victor, D.)
This invention further developed into a technology involving use of wood pellets for heating purpose. It is of considerable significance as it reduces the carbon footprint by curbing carbon dioxide emission and causing energy savings. This if implemented on a wide scale would be a great leap towards green or sustainable building development.
The process of manufacturing wood pellets involves moistening of the sawdust and then compressing and rolling it into pencil-shaped strands. The finished pellets are then dried and packed in sturdy 40 lb. recyclable plastic bags for shipment (Lignetics, 2009).
Facts and statistics regarding energy savings:
Considering that each household uses 2.67 tons of pellets per heating season, the following would be the carbon-emission reduction when compared with other sources:
8872 lbs. of carbon emission savings compared to electricity
2518 lbs. compared to oil
1893 lbs. compared to LPG
1466 lbs. compared to natural gas
(Phoenix Renewable Energy, 2009)
The cost of wood pellets is also quite reasonable when compared to its output and efficiency.
It is easily available and can cause considerable cost-savings in addition to its environmental advantages and can be beneficial to cost-conscious or environmentally-conscious customers. As per sources, the average wood pellets costing $150 per ton and burned in a typical pellet stove cost about $11.50 per million Btu, a figure that is less than the cost of electric heat and competitive with average energy costs of some other fuels like oil or gas (The Encyclopaedia of Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living, n.d.)
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