Wednesday, December 30, 2009

WoodPellet Woes try SEI for Help


A Plea for Help with more
Problem Wood Pellet Heating

I received the following comment to my blog in the form of a plea for assistance with yet another problematic wood pellet heating system.

dorothea kildare has left a new comment on your post "Heating System Questions":

Hi, having huge problems with benekov P20 pellet burner. ignition failure and burning 1.25 tonnes of pellets per month prime energy cannot seem to pin point problem can anyone help Dorothea Kildare

A Reply

Dorothea, I sympathise with you on the problems you are experiencing. The research I did for this blog led me to the decision to NOT go with wood pellet heating - despite having received grant approval for a grant of 4,200 Euro from SEI.

Why did I not take the grant?

SEI Sustainable Energy Ireland is a highly funded govermentally appointed organisation that has vigorously promoted wood pellet heating with massive grants, advertising, web sites, and promotions all over the country.

That's the promotion and hype bit which was well done - but on the other hand, what they failed utterly to do with some of the many millions of Euro of our money at their disposal, was to put strategies in motion to protect the consumer. They left the Irish consumer hanging out to dry!

In fact, they effectively unleashed a rash of untrained cowboys and rip-off merchants on the Irish public, who were greedily driven by the huge grants.

1. SEI had a system of registered installers, which many of the unsuspecting public took to be a guaranteed system for their protection. However the list was not worth the paper it was written on because any cowboy or rip-off merchant could register.
2. SEI made very poor attempts to ensure the effectiveness of equipment, the cost or value to the public, or indeed the safety of the very equipment they were actively promoting. Many systems have seriously ineffective fire protection.
3. SEI made no attempt to regulate the quality, or indeed the supply of the fuel, this resulted in many problems with poor quality fuel and with some shortages.
4. SEI to date have made no great shakes in rectifying the mess in pellet heating which was at least partly created by their lack of planning and action.

SEI, IMHO, have failed badly in promoting wood pellet heating by encouraging an unbalanced market driven by greed. However, you may have a chance to plead that they do something to assist you in your situation, given that they failed to properly protect the public in the first place. It could perhaps be argued that people bought into wood pellet and other sustainable energy products on the recommendation of SEI, and that SEI therefore bear some responsibility for ensuing problems. It is worth a try. I suggest that you consider writing to your TD and to SEI and maybe you will get some help. I have found that if you make enough noise, you will eventually get some satisfaction - if for no other reason, they will do it simply to shut you up. So - go for it!




ken said...

HI just a quick note about your problems 1 On fuel usage every thing is relivent to the amount of time your boiler is on.Have a look in the instruction book and it should tell you the fuel burn rate .As a rough rule of thumb a 15kw boiler will use around 4 kg per hour on full power droping to around 3 kg per hour once it is fully up to temperture .This can take upto 4 hours but if we say an average of 3 kg per hour for 10 hours a day thats 30kg per day times that by 30 days and thats 900kg per month. so if you have a 20kw boiler and perhaps a large house you can see how it will increase.I have a 15 kw boiler in a 1600 sq ft house ,the boiler could not heat the house at the manufactures printed max burn rate of 3.7 kg per hour and had to get it set up to 5kgs ph and it still takes 3 hours before it starts to reduce its power for me 6 hours heat per day for 1 month takes 600kg. as for reliability it a pain in the behind. If the oil price comes down this summer my tank going to be full

Bee Jay said...

Hi all,
Very interesting site - wish I knew then what I know now etc...
Bought a wood pellet/solid wood combined boiler with a nominal rate of 22Kwh. House is 2200sq feet and is new so should be well insulated. The installer put in a 750 litre buffer tank as well as 3 mixing valves, HW, downstairs and upstairs. I only spend 12 weeks a year in the house and use around 5 tonnes PA –
The thing never switches off except when it crashes - over 120 times in 17 months. It has what is daintily called a “week hopper “and I thought I could get a caretaker to load it up once a week - a small job and as it was on reduced timings all would be well. Not a bit of it.
The whole system cost €21k and is useless. I have tried it on logs and the only warmth generated is me sweating trying to keep logs in the thing. After 10 hours non-stop the intake temp was only 40 degrees - which for radiators is useless. I am in the process of getting an oil burner installed. I have been in contact - many times with the manufacturer and they happily tell me that I only had a contact with the installer - even though this company is on their website as a recommended partner in Ireland. So as they are happy to tell me that I do not have a contract with them and the installer is gone bust I can amuse myself by rocking on my heels. They did also say that they could not be responsible for installations done by others. I pointed out that they shouldn’t recommend installers if they are not sure if they are any good but that fell on deaf ears. They have agreed to replace a control unit as the original is bust and only had instructions in German – I know I know
If there are any boffins out there who know the correct ratings please tell me how bad this really is. I keep getting the stuff that bulls are good at making. Oh and as I had installed it without SEI’s permission they laughed at me when I applied for a grant. If there is a numpty prize I will get it for sure