For many pellet boilers are a whole new idea.
The latest pellet boilers are wonderfully reliable central heating systems very nearly as automatic as oil or propane systems. Some of them have the advantage of European design providing many features and a beautiful look.
However, there are differences among modern pellet boilers as fundamental as the differences between a rotary engine Mazda and a piston engine Mercedes. This piece will help you make informed judgments about the pellet boiler that will best serve your needs.
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1,2 Boilers, Tube Cleaning. The ÖkoFEN pellet boiler system has a steel vertical tube boiler with a 25 year design life. Its boiler tubes are automatically cleaned daily so they never require manual cleaning.
3 Certifications. ÖkoFEN boiler systems are UL listed and available in stock with either ASME stamped vessels or EN 303-5 certified vessels depending upon the code and insurance demands of your installation. (American Society of Mechanical Engineers H stamped vessels are required in many installations and can be installed in any jurisdiction in the U.S. for any application.)
4 Ash Removal. ÖkoFEN boiler systems automatically remove the ash from their fireboxes and compress it into a handy, easily emptied storage container. In typical installations, the ash container requires emptying about four times a year, a two- to three- minute process. The ash acts like lime when spread on your garden or lawn.
5 Burner. The ÖkoFEN burner is an underfed burner. This means that there are many fewer cold starts during the heating season than with other burner types, that there is never a need for the burn chamber to be emptied of ash for a restart, and that troublesome combustion by-products (sinters, clinkers, and slag) that can plague other burner types don’t build up in this burner.
6 Burner Ashscrape. There is no ashscrape cycle in ÖkoFEN products because of the underfed burner design. The burner never needs to be cooled down for cleaning, and it frequently restarts with just the application of air after a low demand period greatly reducing the number of cold starts the system makes.
7 Output Modulation. The ÖkoFEN burner modulates its power over 17 intervals between 100% output and 33% output. Because of the careful control of combustion in the unit, the boiler is very efficient and has extremely low emissions levels at all modulation levels. This makes mass thermal storage for emissions control unnecessary with ÖkoFEN boilers.
8 Mass Thermal Storage. ÖkoFEN boiler systems modulate cleanly and restart quickly so thermal mass storage is not required with ÖkoFEN boilers. If you have unusual system demands and would like to use mass thermal storage with an ÖkoFEN, of course, you can, but if your demands are typical, save your money.
9 Reliability. ÖkoFEN boilers are very reliable; they are installed world-wide as stand-alone systems. No back-up systems are recommended or required. Of course, if you have a system you want to retain as back-up, you can do that, but it isn’t necessary.
10 Maintenance. The ÖkoFEN boiler system requires only annual maintenance by service personnel.
11 On-line Operation. The ÖkoFEN boiler system comes standard with an alarm port that will trigger dialers or other alerts. An optional Ethernet port is also available to access the data that the control unit continually gathers. That data can be viewed from any Internet connected computer with this option installed.
If you’re comparing boiler systems for your home, business, or institution, feel free to copy the Pellet Boiler Comparison Chart and use it to gather data to help with your decision.
Dutch Dresser is the Managing Director of Maine Energy Systems LLC