Fuel Pellets vs Wood Logs, Which Is Better
Wood heating though the use of logs is a long established form of solid fuel heating. However, now the wood pellet has arrived on the market place. Some consumers are not clear on the advantages of wood pellets compared to burning logs, and cannot see the benefits in either cost or heat. Here is a comparison of pellet vs wood logs to highlight the unique benefits.
Wood Pellet Fuel Compared to Wood Log
Wood logs have traditionally been used for heating, however very rarely are wood logs used as a complete heating solution. The reasons for this are simple, time, required maintenance, sufficient fuel storage and fuel consumption. Loading a wood log heating system is very time consuming, and getting the fire going can take up to half an hour. Constant loading of the fire every few hours is required, making it difficult to do other things and remembering to top up the fire. Also, as a fuel source logs are by no means ideal. Firstly, to get a reasonable burn the wood must be seasoned to around 30% moisture content. This can take several years to achieve this moisture content, as in log form the moisture is well protected. Therefore a large volume of drying wood and dry wood for use needs to be stored. Yes, some consumers buy dried logs, however when you actually compare the figures between dry logs and pellets there is a clear winner. As wood pellets have a much lower moisture content and lower density, measuring cost per heating value wood pellets are cheaper than buying dried logs. So you would essentially be paying more for a fuel that generates less heat and required much more work.
Wood Pellet Boilers and Pellet Stoves
One of the key factors in a pellet vs wood comparison is automation, or specifically the lack of automation with wood log heating systems. A pellet system generally can hold at least a days worth of fuel, and in many cases several days. Hopper extensions are common to take the fuel capacity of the unit up to a week, and external hoppers can be used to hold up to a years worth of fuel. Now compare this to wood lo heating systems, and not just the extra work required but the time. Through the hopper system a variable speed timed auger can meter fuel into the fire to control the temperature to a specific set level via a thermostat. A log stove cannot really control temperature as there is no control over fuel supply. Wood pellet systems such as pellet stoves have the processes required to fit the modern lifestyle.
Wood Pellet Press and Pellet Machines
Wood logs or chips can be processed into pellet fuel via a series of processes. Primarily, shredding the wood to a suitable size for the wood pellet press is required. Also note that a wood pellet press is also known as a wood pellet machine or wood pellet mill.