Sunday, August 09, 2009

Gerkros Boiler Woes


Beware of
Wood Pellet Technology!
Especially in Ireland!

The following piece came in in the form of a comment on an older post on the Gerkros Wood Pellet boiler from "Ken" who remains unidentified. It more or less echoes what I have been saying about the Irish woodpellet heater industry. I decided to post it rather than leave it be lost as a comment on a old posting.

Many design features currently found in wood pellet boilers are nothing short of "Heath Robinson" affairs. Designs are still in early development and have a long way to catch up on what is now very reliable, standard+ interchangeable, and reasonably priced hardware used in oil fired boilers. It does not surprise me in the least that Gerkros went into liquidation. Many more Irish peddlers of 2nd rate and over-priced "sustainable energy" hardware are heading for the same route. Wood pellet boilers at around €6000 a pop are still extremely bad value for money.

With a little extra manual tending, simple lumpwood boilers at around €2000 would be a much better investment, especially if you have access to timber.

Come to think of it, a lot of the hassle Balcas got about woodpellet quality in the last couple of years was probably from Gerkros owners!!

I am so glad I decided to stay away from wood pellet heating for the time being. I am keeping an eye on a couple of manufacturers who have offerings in the pipe-line. One in particular has a very good engineering history. I am hopeful for the future.

The Letter

Ken has left a new comment
on your post:
"Gerkros Boilers":


Just a note on the Gerkros 15 kW pellet boiler. I have a 2008 model of this boiler. On the surface it looks a decent enough boiler. But look a bit closer and you will find it has been made by a blacksmith with poor design and engineering. Although it is meant to have a self cleaning burner you will find it has been disabled in the computer because of poor design the ash gets behind it and jams it out.

If you own one you will also know the auger fills up with sawdust at the bottom and then the pellets cant enter it. This is not from dirty pellets. In there wisdom Gerkros have put a 50 mm auger coil in a 90 mm tube. THIS auger is continually grinding over the top of the pellets that it is not moving until they are dust .IF the auger even sat in the bottom of the tube at least it would sweep the auger clean but it runs down the centre grinding over the top of the pellets until the boiler cuts out. Then try cleaning it out they Didn't even think of putting a slide in the bottom of the hopper to stop the pellets falling in . TRY getting the auger back into the hopper when its full of pellets.

Then there is the little problem of removing the fireproof board behind the ash pan for cleaning. You can’t remove it in one piece without unbolting the burner because someone did not think about it when making it. I am slowly working through these problems but its no surprise they went bust, these problems were coming back to hunt them .If someone with a little bit of knowledge and care had studied this for one day things may have been different.


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