Paul Elliott-Smith, of Green Systems UK,
started the installation in the first week of August. The KWB
Boiler had arrived from the factory in Austria well wrapped in a
sturdy wooden crate. It was very heavy and arrived with a
sizable buffer tank (seen to the right if the boiler). After a
couple of days the boiler was de-crated and moved into its final
position. From there a network of pipes were establish that
joined to the existing pipework around the Gas Boiler. The
positioning of the boiler was dictated by the exit point of the
flue and the need for the Pellet Hopper to be swung away to gain
access to the Boiler for maintenance. It took seven days work to
establish the pipework.
As you can see the Boiler and Buffer Tank are
sizeable. It needs its own boiler room or garage. It will take
up half the space of the garage leaving the remainder free for
fuel storage (approx three tonnes). The average family home will
need four to six tonnes of Pellets per year. Obviously the
Boiler will need power and connection to your heating system. So
a garage joined to the house is essential - preferably one
where the existing boiler is there already. In our case we chose
the house specifically with these points in mind. The garage
here is a double garage so we retain the use of the garage
whilst half of it becomes boiler room and bunker house.
The set of four photo's (above) show the
initial chaos as the boiler is unwrapped and removed from its
packing case. This is all still in the first week of August
2009. Within the day the buffer tank and boiler are tidied way
into their final resting places in the corner of the Garage.
Pipe runs are established between Boiler and Buffer Tanks then
between Buffer Tank and the existing Gas Boiler (mounted on the
wall next to the window). The two white semi-spheres, on the
floor under the window, are expansion tanks.
The four pictures (above) were all taken in the
same first week of August 2009. The spider's-web of pipework
continues to grow and encroach upon the gas boiler as it curls
itself around the window. The heating system is drained and the
old gas boiler is disconnected. The old system is now joined to
the new system. The KWB Easyfire will now be the master and the
old Gas boiler will be slaved to it. The Gas Boiler now feeds
the Buffer Tank.
The four pictures (above) show progress up to the 13th August
when the flue was installed. Due to Planning Restrictions this
has been fitted internally within the fabric of the building. It
passes vertically up through the garage ceiling and then along
the corner of the bedroom above. (See pictures below.) From there it passed up through
the roof void and through the roof. It passes through a flashing
kit to terminate above the roof line.
The four pictures (above) show the progress
from the 15th to the 19th August concerning the external Flue.
The two sets of photo's may look the same but there is a crucial
difference. The first set of photo's has the Flue too high above
the roofline. The Planning Permission was only waived on the
grounds that the top of the flue would be no more than 1m above
the ridgeline. Thankfully the problem was corrected soon after
with a shorter section of upper flue.
The four pictures (above) mostly deal with
the intrusion of the boiler flue through the bedroom above. This
part could have been tricky as no one really wanted a boiler
flue through their bedroom. Hence we quickly worked with a
builder to have the flue boxed off with plasterboard. The area
was quickly redecorated and the furniture put back.
As you can see from the photo's a good job
was done with little inconvenience. This area is intended to be
turned into an en suite shower room at some point so the flue
may well "disappear" all together behind stud walling.
The four pictures (above) deal with the
Pellet Storage area. This had to be next to the boiler with a
30cm separation for fire safety reasons. The space marked out on
the floor (the white box) marked off this clearance zone and is
approximately 2m x 2m x 2m allowing for 8 cubic meters of
storage. (The other two lines on the floor represent the
clearance required to close the garage door and get a car in the
garage.) Eight meters cubed equates to approximately 4 tonnes
which is about 80% of annual requirements. To be conservative we
only shipped 3 tonnes to see how it would all fit.
As you can see there were some problems. The
Pallets are 1m x 1.2m so three of them should have fitted in the
space without unloading. However, when they arrived they were
found to be stacked outside of the pallet footprint, ie, there
were large over-hangs. This made it impossible to store more
than two inside the box. Hence the third had to stay outside the
garage. Surprisingly it only took 20 minutes to unload that one
pallet. Hence the second pallet was also restacked giving us
plenty of space to play with.
It is clear that the storage, put-away and
man-handling of wood pellets (in 15kg bags, in this scale) is
going to be a significant obstacle for most householders more
used to the convenience of Gas. But if you are strong and like a
bit of exercise.........!
The four photo's (above) show the final
installation with all the pipe insulation installed. You can
also see how easily a small car (Toyota Aygo) fits in the space
left over. A bigger car would also have fitted easily even with
three tonnes of pellets - this is not a problem at all if you
have a double garage.
These photo's were
taken on the 19th, 20th & 29th August. By this time we should
have had the Boiler commissioned. However, we hit a snag.
Although the boiler worked fine the buffer tank would not fill
properly due to a mistake in the valve configuration on the
pipework behind the boiler. A new valve had to be ordered and
this was not fitted until Saturday the 29th August.
Commissioning was not scheduled until the 4th September due to
the holidays and non-availability of Commissioning Engineers in
this period. Hence the entire installation had taken (on & off)
Compare this to a
Gas Boiler fit of only three to five days. Be prepared for
inconvenience. Certainly if your install is a domestic residence
then try and get it done in summer so no heating is required. We
used the immersion heater in the Domestic Hot Water Cylinder for the period when the Gas Boiler was
next set of photo's come from late September 2009. The
Garage-cum-Boiler room got quite warm at times and it was
quickly clear that there were significant gaps in the insulation
on both pipes and buffer tank. The buffer tank has spare
entry/exit ports that are capped but they penetrate the thick
insulation providing an excellent and unwanted thermal bridge.
At times they were very hot. The pipework had exposed metal at
every valve, wall support and major joint where the standard
insulation didn't fit. To resolve this problem we took spare
insulation and a sharp knife to cut what we needed to shape. It
was a loose fit but secured with cable-ties. On the Buffer Tank
we added circular cones cut from Radiator Foil (thin expanded
polystyrene sheet backed by foil) over the exposed metal. This
was glued on with wallpaper paste. Then a sheet of foil-backed
bubble wrap was added over top secured by silver gaffer tape.
The results can be seen in the photo's above with the
work-in-progress on the left and the finished result on the
right. The picture (left) shows the before and after
for the pipe insulation. See how the pieces are carefully
crafted with a knife and secured by cable-ties. Valves are not
covered nor should they be.