Sunday, July 16, 2006

Gerkros Wood Pellet Boiler

A Look at the Gerkros "Woodpecker"

Ireland has only one Wood Pellet Boiler manufacturer at this time. It is Gerkros, well known for their oil boilers. The boiler comes with burner unit, small hopper, auger, and draught stabilizer. It also comes with a Gerkros commissioning visit.

It's a BIG Boiler

A quick look at the 20Kw model shows that it is much larger than the Dor or Opop boilers of the same output. This size may prove a problem for some installations where space is limited. Roughly 45" High by 45" x 31" its BIG and then there is a big Hopper going with it. It is not as easy to access for cleaning as the Opop or Dor boilers either. The boiler comes with 5 years guarantee. But the Burner has only ONE YEARS GUARANTEE!

The Burner Unit.

The Burner unit looks like it might be a modified Pellx burner, I am not saying it is one, just it looks like it could be. It is a top feed burner unit and tt has only 2 step modulation. That means it is either OFF, 60% running power, or 100% power. It does not have in between steps of heat output. This would mean it would stop and start a lot, which means it would put more wear on the burner, especially the ingiter unit. This might lead to the need for more maintenance in time.


The price for the 20Kw and 30Kw boilers are evidently the same, because they ARE the same size etc. The price difference is in the Burner Unit. The 20Kw combination is quoted at €5040 and the 30Kw at €5240.

You will have to have a plumber, ANY plumber (does not have to be registered with SEI AFAIK) to install this unit, then Gerkros will send out someone to commission it and sign the SEI grant forms.

Question: Is it value for money?

Answer: This is a complex answer. On the face of it it is expensive enough by German, Danish and UK prices for similar units. You could buy the bits for well under €4000 just about anywhere. The Woodpecker is nothing special. You get a BIG steel boiler with an ordinary 5 year guarantee. (some boilers come with up to 15 years guarantee) You get a bog basic burner unit with a rather mean 1 year guarantee!! (I wonder if they expect the burner to give trouble and hence the 1 year guarantee?)

You do get an Irish company with a fair reputation, you get a commissioning call which could be worth a couple of hundred Euro, and you get a draught stabilizer worth €60.

Does that justify the price? I really don't know, but I am inclined to think not. I think it is overpriced. Would I buy one? Not at the price, plus it is very awkward and big.

I think Gerkros need a bit more work on this one. At least 10 step modulation, a tidier boiler with earsier access, and a lower price.

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