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Is there a range cooker and boiler with an automatic feeder?

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 27 February 2014 at 9:39 am

Q We would like to install a wood pellet-powered range cooker and boiler which is fed automatically from a pellet store. Do you know if such a product exists? So far we have only found ones where you have to manually lift the pellets into a hopper and we are getting to an age where we can’t lift 10kg bag of pellets every time it needs refuelling.

A: The mechanism you are referring to uses a vacuum or an auger to retrieve pellets from a large store or silo when a sensor notices that your stove’s hopper is empty. You simply get your pellets delivered directly into your store, and let the machinery do the rest. Great for a fully automated heating system, even better for your back!

However, while there are plenty of biomass boilers which use this mechanism to heat your house, I haven’t heard of a cooker and boiler combination that does. This doesn’t mean it’s not theoretically possible – it’s just that there doesn’t appear to be a manufacturer who has seen a market for them. Yet.

However, a quick call to the people at Lohberger has revealed that this well respected brand are developing a range cooker and boiler with an automatic hopper feeder. The feeder will be in the form of a two to three inch hose that simply sucks the pellets from your store into the hopper as needed.

You'll need to be patient though. The product is still in the development stages and the UK distributor, Adina Heating, could not give any timescale for when it might reach the market. They hope it will be within the year though, so keep an eye on the Adina Heating website for more details.

If you can’t wait that long, you could always see if you could find an engineer willing to make a bespoke system for you. You can buy the automatic hopper feeder from SHT and get a nifty engineer to rig up a system for you. Be aware though, any installation that is not registered with the microgeneration certification scheme will not be eligible for government incentives such a the renewable heat initiative. Once the domestic RHI goes live there will be a list of eligible products on the Ofgem website. 

More information

YouGen guide to biomass boilers

YouGen guide to renewable heat incentive

Photo Credit: Lettuce. via Compfight cc

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