In the current conditions, when technological progress does not stand still, traditional types and methods of heating come to the fore. Many of us who have our own private house or country house in the country try to choose the most convenient, most efficient and economical way of heating. Gas water heating today is considered the cheapest. However, for a number of reasons, it is not always possible to connect to a centralized gas supply. An excellent alternative to gas heating will be a solid fuel boiler, paired with electric heaters. Such a combination of fundamentally different heating devices is caused by technological necessity.
Modern solid fuel heaters are high-tech devices. Solid fuel boilers are powerful, economical, able to simultaneously solve several technological problems at once. Despite a lot of obvious advantages, even the most advanced models of solid fuel boiler equipment are not without drawbacks. Let us consider in more detail why and for what purpose solid fuel units with an electric heater are produced.
Solid fuels and electricity — the background of such a combination
We are all well aware of the situations that arise during the operation of boiler equipment in a private house. With a centralized gas supply, the human factor is reduced to almost zero, while the operation of solid fuel heating equipment requires constant attention. It will not be possible to solve the problem by installing automation alone.
Excellent technological capabilities, efficiency and practicality in operation, characteristics that today can be deservedly given to solid fuel heating units. Everything would be fine. However, there is one significant drawback that can overshadow the idyll and comfort in your home. The fuel supply has run out, the firewood in the firebox has burned out, so what? The boiler is forced to stop involuntarily. If there is a thermal accumulator, the situation is not so catastrophic. The hot water accumulated in the tank will diverge through the heating system, maintaining the required temperature in the house for some time.
And if we are talking about a country house, where quite a lot of time passes between the visits of the owners. A stopped boiler, a wasted coolant from a storage tank will put the entire system into a technological collapse. In winter, this situation is fraught with defrosting of the entire heating system — an emergency, the consequences of which cannot be eliminated in a short time. No matter what happens, a backup option for heating the coolant in the system is used. The role of the fuse in this case is best entrusted to electric heaters. There is almost always electricity in the network, regardless of whether there are owners at home or not.
Important! A solid fuel boiler performs the main work of heating the coolant, providing the inhabitants of the house with hot water. The results obtained are achieved due to the high power of the equipment and the features of the binding of solid fuel units. Electricity plays a supporting role in this case. The electrical part has limited power.
Electric heating elements are able to maintain the performance of the heating system at an optimal level. Firewood ran out in the firebox, the system itself switches to power supply. It is not uncommon for both heating sources to work in tandem, replacing each other in turn. We are well aware of the situation when another load of firewood burns out during the night, and by morning the house begins to cool down and the hot water in the tap is barely warm.
What is a solid fuel boiler equipped with electric heaters
Faced with such a phenomenon as the defrosting of the heating system, an engineering solution that was reasonable from a technical point of view was found. Manufacturers decided to equip a conventional heating device that runs on coal or wood with electric heaters. Such modernization became possible due to the design features of the heater.
The main operation of the boiler is carried out due to the combustion of fuel placed in the combustion chamber. Due to the combustion process, the boiler operates in operating mode, supplying the house with heat and ensuring the operation of the DHW system. A heat exchanger is installed above the combustion chamber, being the main element of the entire structure. Unlike conventional solid fuel devices, this technique is equipped with one, more often two or three thermoelectric heating elements — electric heaters. Such devices can be installed directly in the heat exchanger.
In normal mode, the circulation of the coolant through the pipeline is carried out due to gravity or forcibly, using a circulating pump. As soon as the intensity of combustion in the furnace decreases, the temperature of the coolant in the system decreases, which is signaled by a temperature sensor. Electric heaters are switched on, reporting the necessary heat to the cooling coolant. Accordingly, due to a decrease in the intensity of heating, the circulation of boiler water in the system slows down.
Thus, in a nutshell, one can describe the principle of operation of a solid fuel boiler with electric heaters.
On a note: There are many options for installing electric heaters. In each individual case, the manufacturer himself determines the optimal design of the heater. The final result directly depends on the location of the electric heaters.
Advantages of solid fuel units with electric heaters and disadvantages
An ordinary wood-fired or coal-fired boiler installed in your home or in the country is good for everyone. There is only one minus, which the owners have to keep silent about. The problem lies in the constant need to feed the heating unit with fuel. Electric heaters installed in the boiler are able to radically improve the current situation, taking on part of the work in an endless process. With such devices, you do not have to regularly visit the boiler room and control the process of fuel combustion.
Important! It is not worth counting on full-fledged heating of a residential building and providing hot water with operating electric heating elements. Electricity in this case is a temporary source of thermal energy. To allow long interruptions in the operation of the main part of the boiler means to face the fact of high costs for the consumed electricity.
What are the benefits you get by installing a combined solid fuel boiler in your home:
- autonomous operation of the entire home heating system;
- increased time interval between fuel loadings into the combustion chamber;
- protection of the water heating system from defrosting at low temperatures.
With regard to technological advantages, solid fuel units equipped with electric heaters have the following capabilities:
- lack of formation of condensate on the inner walls of the combustion chamber due to the constant heating of the heat exchanger by electric heaters;
- with constant support of the required temperature of the heat carrier, there is no need to install a spare circuit and install a thermal mixing valve;
- due to the operation of electrical appliances, the efficiency of a heating solid fuel boiler increases to 95%.
Versatility is the main advantage of this technique, but such advantages have a downside. The combination of both types of heating elements in one device leads to a significant increase in the cost of the model. Compared to traditional solid fuel units, such boilers are much more expensive. However, if you want peace and comfort, the price will not be a deterrent.
The second aspect that can scare the consumer away from such boiler equipment is the manufacturability of the device. The large inertia of the heating boiler is characteristic of both the solid fuel unit and its electrical part. The low power of electric heaters is the main factor hindering your choice. As a rule, with a main power of 50 kW or more, electric heaters produce only 6-24 kW. As a rule, the total power of electric thermal heaters is not more than 1/3 of the maximum power of a solid fuel boiler.
On a note: Boilers equipped with more powerful electric heaters are more expensive, and the energy consumption in this case will be significant. Such combined boilers are easy to operate, but not at all cost-effective as a heat source for the heating system.
Conclusion. Connection Features
The purchase of a solid fuel boiler equipped with electric heaters allows you to immediately solve almost all existing problems with the heating system.
The main thing! To supply electricity, such units do not require the conversion of a home electrical network into three phases. The only condition for proper operation is compliance with the rules and connection standards. The boiler at the time of operation of the electrical part works like a conventional storage boiler, from a 220V home network.
Such a technical possibility does not give the right to relax. When connecting the boiler to the system, a separate line with a cut-off machine is required, which protects the boiler from unauthorized connections to the line of other electrical appliances. All additional manipulations when installing a solid fuel heating boiler with an electrical part consist in laying a new cable and the connection itself.
The features of the operation of such heating equipment include the arrangement of the chimney. Good draft will allow the boiler to work normally in the combustion mode, without provoking unauthorized switching on of electric heaters. The quality of ventilation and exhaust determines the operation of the entire heating system. There is draft, the fuel burns, there is no draft, there is an underburning of firewood, the electric heater starts to work.
In terms of its dimensions, heating equipment of this class does not differ much from conventional analogues. The same size of the combustion chamber, the same volume of the heat exchanger. A heating system with a solid fuel unit, in the design of which there are electric heaters, also implies the presence of a heat accumulator and other protective devices.