Your 1-Stop Guide to Small Wood Fired Steam Boilers

The boiler industry is snowballed with various options. Each type works with a different power source. Then, you have systems that can utilize more than one type of energy. However, not every boiler is as cost-effective as a wood-fired one. It is becoming increasingly prevalent, especially for industrial and commercial purposes. But the question remains: why are small wood fired steam boilers so popular? The short answer would be their cheap energy utilization. But that’s not all. Let’s dig deep into this specific boiler type. By the end of this guide, you will know everything about this system. So, let’s get started!

What Are Small Wood Fired Steam Boilers?

You might have noticed that we used the word “small” with a wood fired steam boiler. That’s because the small size is generally the standard option in commercial and industrial places. These boilers use wood as their primary power source. Generally, their input is one or multiple of the following:

  • Wood chips
  • Wood pellets
  • Wood logs
  • Wood leftovers

Remember that these boilers do not necessarily use wood as their power source. Instead, they can also use other options, like coal and gas. In fact, most industries prefer choosing a system with multiple energy choices. It makes the generator more flexible, convenient, and cost-effective. 

Efficiency Rate

Another common question is, how efficient are wood fired boilers? Typically, these systems can offer up to 90% efficiency. However, this rate depends on the following factors:

  • Boiler design
  • Auxiliaries
  • Quality of Auxiliaries
  • Heat loss

Many people, especially inexperienced ones, mistake boiler efficiency for combustion efficiency. The latter only defines the efficiency rate of one process. Alternatively, wood steam boiler efficiency measures everything, from input and process to output. That is why combustion efficiency can reach as high as 99%. Then again, the system also performs other operations on the input, affecting the overall rate. 

History & Evolution

Boilers were revolutionized in the 1900s. Most of the modern oil sources were discovered in this century. That includes coal, oil, and wood. Boilers that utilize wood as their primary energy source came into the spotlight in the 1970s. 

Professor Richard Hill is known today as the mastermind behind wood fired boiler. He presented his idea, funded by the US Department of Energy. His model was a wood boiler with independent fans, a secondary air unit, and water-based thermal storage. Furthermore, it had two stages of combustion for greater efficiency. 

Since then, multi-fuel wood boilers have also become common. As the name suggests, they use wood and oil separately in their heating chambers/furnaces. The 1980s saw the rise of smartly-designed wood fired boilers. Today, these systems use advanced technology in their design and auxiliaries to reach maximum efficiency.

 

Components & Auxiliaries of Small Wood Fired Steam Boilers

The composition and design of a small wood fired steam boiler can vary. Generally, it depends on the manufacturer, input & output capacity, and energy source compatibility. However, some components and auxiliaries are common throughout all wood generators. Let’s look at them and their functions in detail:

1. Fans

Fans play an integral role in the boiler. They provide the much-needed air pressure and cooling functions in a system. 

Typically, generators require a certain amount of air pressure to perform their operations. That is where the forced-draft fan comes in. Commonly installed as a single unit in wood boilers, it creates a mechanical air pressure to maintain the environment. 

Secondly, we have induced-draft fans to provide a negative air pressure in the boiler. It evacuates the system space by absorbing combustion output. Lastly, the secondary fan is optional but highly recommended for wood boilers. It works as an extension of induced-draft fans by keeping the environment workable. 

2. The Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is the central component of a wood boiler. Made of firebrick, it hosts the most important function of the system. It burns the input wood chips, pellets, or leftovers with an intense flame. However, you always have control of this chamber. You can adjust the temperatures depending on your boiler and its range. 

3. Grates

Grates are easily the most self-explanatory components in a wood boiler system. They are the platform to ignite the input wood. In short, they hold the flame in the combustion chamber. Usually, they are made of cast iron, keeping them safe from higher temperatures. 

4. Economizer

Economizer can either be a primary or additional component. Either way, it is something you should install in your boiler. Why? Because it directly improves the system’s efficiency. An economizer recovers the heat that is usually wasted in heat loss. It utilizes that in the boiler’s operations and maintains proposed temperatures. 

5. Unloader

Once you have the required output, you will need help getting it out of the system. That is where the unloader comes in. It assists with unloading the combustion products to your storage unit. This way, you can get the optimal output without waste. 

6. Slag Remover

Wood boilers can operate at very high temperatures. As a result, you have some burned slag left in the system. Slag remover is the device for this job. It effectively eliminates the byproducts of the boiler. Additionally, it has a pre-built water cooling system, avoiding damage from hot slag. 

7. Steam Header

A steam header is basically a set of pipes to help unwanted steam exit the system. Otherwise, it can damage the boiler and affect its operations. These pipelines have an efficient design and durable body of reinforced steel. 

8. Dust Collector Bag

Dust collectors bag is an excellent alternative to manual cleaning. It collects all the unwanted particles from the system. This way, your boiler stays filtered, and the dust doesn’t decrease efficiency. 

9. Chimney

Chimneys play the environmental protection role in a boiler. They eliminate all the burned flue without affecting your working environment. Also known as steel sacks, they release these gases at a height that doesn’t contaminate your atmosphere. It is a highly recommended component for the safety of boiler operators. 

Can You Get Spare Parts of Small Wood Fired Steam Boilers?

Small wood fired steam boilers are more prominent in the industrial and manufacturing sector today than ever. A huge part of that credit goes to their convenience. Their maintenance and repairs are more accessible than large-scale wood boiler systems.

So, can you get spare parts for these boilers? The short answer is yes. But you have to consider the following factors:

Compatible Spare Parts

Remember that not every boiler component is replaceable. Also, manufacturers don’t have every part of a system on the go. However, some common spare parts are readily available in the market. That includes:

  • Safety Valve
  • Pressure Gauge
  • Blow-down Valve
  • Stop Valve
  • Three-way Cock
  • Check Valve
  • Water Level Sensor
  • Grates
  • Pipelines

Manufacturer and Their Policy

Many manufacturers don’t offer spare parts. They have this point mentioned in their policy documents, manuals, etc. However, many other companies, like YongXing Boiler Group, provide spare parts for free. As long as your system is in its warranty period, you can get the required components from these suppliers. After that, they may charge you per component. 

Alternatively, many manufacturers have warranties that don’t cover spare parts. That means you have to buy these components from them. Otherwise, opt for a third-party seller with reliable auxiliaries. 

Maintenance of Small Wood Boilers

Let’s say you have bought a small wood fired steam boiler. So, how will you maintain it? It might be challenging, especially for beginners. But the maintenance is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Regular Inspection

Your system requires frequent inspection to avoid bigger problems. Regular checks are highly recommended to prevent extra costs. How to conduct them? Many people think that you need a professional for inspection. But that’s not the case. 

All you need is to ensure the system is working efficiently. Monitor its levels, operating temperatures, and efficiency via sensors and testers. You should also look for gas leaks and heat loss. That means inspecting components like combustion chambers, pipelines, chimneys, and gaskets. 

So, when do you need a professional inspection? If your boiler is not working as it did or is supposed to, but you can not identify the problem. In that case, consider hiring a professional to avoid future problems. 

2. Cleaning

Even if your system has cleaning components, like a dust collector, you should prioritize cleaning. But that doesn’t mean sanitizing the boiler after every use. Only inspect its cleanliness once a month. 

Make sure to remove unwanted particles from the chamber, chimney, economizer, and unloader. Remember that most boiler problems can fade away with frequent cleaning. 

3. Recalibration

Calibration means setting the working conditions for your boiler. These settings ensure that your system works effectively and stops its operations if the provided conditions are unsafe. Ultimately, this simple step can help prolong your boiler’s lifespan. 

However, calibration can be removed over time, especially in older boilers. You should consider recalibrating the system every 6 months or a year. 

4. Safety Measures

Your safety is equally important when operating a high-end system. Remember that these boilers operate at higher temperatures. Always double-check the safety measures, including valves, smoke alarms, and temperature controls. Experts recommend monitoring these aspects weekly to prevent workplace accidents. Lastly, ensure that your boiler complies with the regional standards of safety. 

Should You Buy Small Wood Fired Steam Boilers?

Yes, a small wood fired steam boiler can fulfill your industrial needs. Here’s why:

  • Greater Efficiency: A wood boiler can reach up to 90% efficiency and 99% combustion efficiency. They are one of the most efficient wood fired steam generators for industrial applications. All you need to maintain this rate is regular inspection, cleaning, and installation of some essential auxiliaries. 
  • Capable Range: Despite its small size, it is a highly capable boiler. It can provide a maximum of 1400kw output. That means you can get this small system with a max size of 2 tons. 
  • Accessible: Its small size makes it better for indoor installation. That is a significant plus point for small industries and commercial spaces. Also, its installation is considerably cheaper and more convenient than large-scale boilers. 
  • Safety Measures: Since it works with higher temperatures, the system provides all the essential safety measures. You get durable valves, pipelines, gaskets, and chimneys. This way, your environment remains safe, and the boiler works effectively for years. 
  • Cheaper Energy Source: Wood is a comparatively cheaper energy source. It is also more accessible than fuel, gas, and coal. The best part is that these boilers can accept wood input in several forms. You can use chips, pellets, logs, planks, or leftovers.
    Another benefit is that many of these small wood boilers may have multi-energy input. That means you can combine wood with other sources, like coal, oil, or biomass. 

How to Buy Small Wood Fired Steam Boilers?

Are you looking for a small wood fired steam boiler for sale? Consider the following factors:

  • Input & Output Range
  • Components & Auxiliaries 
  • Design
  • Size
  • Installation
  • Warranty

You can ignore most of these factors if you choose a reliable manufacturer. Wood fired steam boiler suppliers like YongXing Boiler Group have more customer-friendly warranties and policies. We provide free spare parts, efficient boilers, installation assistance, after-sales services, and high-quality auxiliaries. 

Conclusion

A small wood fired boiler can be the ultimate solution for your industrial needs. It can handle operations more efficiently than many other generators. Also, its design gives it an edge over other types in installation, efficiency, and convenience. One pro-tip for this system is to consider inspections and maintenance frequently. This simple step can save you from more problems and expenses. 

Consider choosing YongXing Boiler Group for the best small wood fired steam boilers price because we don’t include intermediary costs. Additionally, our catalog is extensive, providing many options in this category. So, you can easily find one that fits your industrial or commercial requirements. Our free spare parts, after-sales support, and 24/7 customer service can come in handy in the long run. 

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