Answers to your most common queries
How much wood fuel is available in County Clare?
About 60,000 green tonnes pa of wood is currently available for wood fuel markets without impacting on existing markets, of which only 3.3% is currently being used. Supply figures will increase significantly in the years ahead.
What financial savings can wood energy systems offer?
Wood chip fuel is around half the price of oil for heating in Ireland, although capital costs to install the systems are high compared to fossil boilers. An annual heating bill of Ä100,000 could be reduced to Ä50,000.
How much CO2 can I save?
Wood fuel heating emits the least C02 per unit of energy supplied of any energy technology.
How much renewable energy does wood fuel provide already?
50% of the EUís renewable energy is provided by wood fuel and 5.6% of the EUís total energy is obtained from wood fuel.
How are wood chips made?
Wood chips are produced by chipping solid wood into small particles. The solid wood is usually air dried down to a suitable moisture content and then chipped by a purpose made wood chipper before delivery to boilers. There are several wood chip suppliers operating in County Clare.
What type of wood boiler should I get?
There is an enormous variety of wood boilers on the market. Most are fully automated and have sophisticated controls. Specifying the correct mix of features and selecting the best supplier is a specialist task. However in principle there two basic choices; An underfed hearth system for smaller systems and drier fuels, and a moving grate system for larger systems and wetter fuels.
What are the maintenance implications of wood energy systems?
Ash will accumulate in the ash bin (under 1% by volume of the wood chip fuel input) and require periodic emptying (typically every 3 months). Boilers with pneumatic cleaning remove most of the airborne ash that accumulates on the inside of the heat exchanger. However a small ash build-up does occur and all boilers should be properly cleaned in accordance with the manufacturers instructions, typically every 500 to 1,500 operating hours.
How much energy does wood contain?
1 tonne of wood chips at 40% moisture content contains 2,929kWh of energy or 2.93MWh of energy. This would replace about 300 litres of oil.
How does wood energy benefit the local economy?
Wood chip energy creates more local employment than any other energy source. It is estimated that 171 people could be employed in the sector in Clare by 2020 if we meet our government target. The total contribution of wood energy to the local economy by 2020 is estimated at Ä9.8m per annum.