Type of Unit: ETA PU7 pellet boiler
Annual estimated energy required: 18559 kWh/year supplying 6 radiators and domestic hot water
Manufacturer's website: www.eta.co.at
Supplied and installed as part of a full central heating system by “Renewables Now“, Barcaldine, this system has replaced four electric night storage, two panel heaters, electric water heating and a small wood burning stove.
The wood pellets (2 / 3 tonnes) are stored in an 4 x 2 m external store (www.expandastore.co.uk). The pellets are manually loaded as required (approx. every 3 / 4 weeks) into a hopper constructed from an old fertiliser spreader. Once a day the boiler’s own vacuum system fills its internal 30kg hopper.
The boiler is mounted in a previously unheated large entrance/cloaks area. The manufacturer’s brochure shows that the boiler itself gives off between 5 and 15% heat so placing it in an un-insulated external boiler house would be inefficient. It is just slightly warm when operating, ideal for putting gloves, hats and scarves on top. It very nicely keeps the chill off the porch.
The day to day operation of the boiler is fully automatic. There is a touch screen display where all the operating parameters can be set or amended. It takes time to learn how to juggle the heat settings which I am still experimenting with. Three day-time presets and a night time setting are available as well as the domestic hot water. There are both internal and external temperature sensors which seem to adjust the system to the outside temperature very quickly. From the touch screen it is also possible to set holiday stand-by settings and if you are a full control freak then it can even be connected to the internet and controlled from your mobile phone or ipad.
We have had this boiler for six months and have only emptied the ash twice. A relatively clean process but after removing the sealed ash container it does leave a very small amount of ash on the floor. The boiler itself makes the occasional clunk and rumble which is it cleaning itself. Otherwise there is just an almost inaudible hum when it is operating.
It is not yet time for a service but “Renewables Now” will carry out this task.
One fact is that it obviously doesn’t work during any power cut. I have now located a battery and small inverter close to the boiler so that it could be easily connected. I have also kept the log burner as a stand-by and comfort fire although it has only been on five or six times since the installation.
The ETA is not the cheapest boiler but I am impressed by the performance to date. My only criticisms is that the pellet storage counter is about 10% pessimistic, indicating that it had used more fuel than I had actually purchased. As I have only had the installation for six months it is not yet possible to calculate savings in energy costs but I will do this in 2014. Nice to know that the RHI will start next spring.
What a joy it is to wake up to a temperature controlled house. No more too hot in the morning and cooling down all day as the heat goes from the night storage heaters or going round at night changing the input settings on the heaters to pre-empt a sudden change in the weather. Sawing and splitting logs is a thing of the past. Probably OK for youngsters but not for two oldies.
Finally, I cannot fault the professionalism, quality of workmanship, cleanliness and after-sales service to date from “Renewables Now” and would be happy to recommend them. If anyone would like to inspect this installation “Argyll Woodfuels” will put you in touch.
JS, Oban, Argyll
We order pellets several times a year and the service is always prompt and curteous,it’s nice being able to buy pellets locally with such a short delivery time and reasonable pricing
We will quote you for delivery of materials you buy from us because each order is considerably different.
We will deliver to Lochgilphead, Campbeltown, Inveraray, Strachur, Dalmally, Tyndrum, Taynuilt, Connel, Benderloch, Appin, Duror and in Oban. We will also deliver to all the island carriers. Please tell us if you would like your order delivered and whether you need it unloaded by hand into storage. If you can tell us how accessible your storage is then we will be able to deliver with the right vehicle and people. If you would prefer to do this by telephone please ring 01631 563271 during business hours.
You are more than welcome to visit our yard to pick up your order, free of charge.