PC Stål ApS are setting new stardards on the market for wood chips
What do you do a late Tuesday night in the winter when the cold presses on, and the family complains because the cold has gained the upper hand in the otherwise warm living room?
The heating system has stalled, and it is oversized pieces of wood among the otherwise fine wood chips that caused the shutdown; and it’s not the first time this season.
The motley market for wood chips
On the market for wood chips there are limited standards for chip sizes and quality, and they apply only to the relatively coarse wood chips (known as G30, G50, G100).
For chips smaller than 85 mm in length and 30 mm2 in cross section, there are no usable standards, which mean that customers are at a loss when they have to buy chips for e.g. their pellet or stoker burners.
Over the last several years, both pellet and stoker burners have become increasingly popular alternatives to the more conventional types of heating. With the popularity, the price of wood pellets has increased, and often you don’t know exactly what you buy. Wood chips are a cheaper and often cleaner alternative to wood pellets, but the lack of an appropriate standard, makes it very difficult as a consumer to define the chip quality you need for the burner that you have installed. Most often the problem is that pegs and lumps of wood in the chips will block the boilers operation, with downtime and great inconvenience to follow.
The good chip quality
For many years PC Stål ApS has produced pellet chippers with 360 degrees screen system, which makes the chipper produce chips in high quality for many applications. Due to the screen system, the chips from the pellet chippers are entirely without the annoying pegs and lumps, which make it especially suitable for stoker and pellet burners. The market for wood chips is very diverse, and as an aid to consumers PC Stål ApS now introduces the standard for the wood chips which are produced by our pellet chippers with the built-in 360 degrees screen system.
A PC Pellet chipper produces PC-CHIPS. We have introduced this brand, and the various PC-CHIP qualities are described on the basis of the screen’s hole size and the cutting height of the knives. As a customer this gives you vital information about the chips condition, providing security in the product you buy.
For example ‘PC-CHIPS 30/13’, is chips produced on a PC Pellet chipper with a screen with 30 mm holes and 13 mm knife cutting height. By using this designation the customer is guaranteed that the largest pieces of wood in the chips do not exceed the size which is limited by the holes in the screen.
When producing a batch of chips, a producer can even add further information regarding water content and density to the PC-CHIPS designation. This way, the chips can be described in further detail if the need occurs.
For example ‘PC-CHIPS 30/13/19/250’, means that the moisture content of the PC-CHIPS is 19 % and 250 is its density measured kg per m3. From this additional information the consumer can easily see whether or not the PC-CHIPS live up to the requirements, for it to run optimally in his stoker or pellet burner.
The brand ‘PC-CHIPS’ provides competitive advantages
The brand 'PC CHIPS' is created and introduced by PC Stål ApS.
When you buy a PC Pellet chipper, you also get the possibility to use the trademark "PC-CHIPS" in sales, and thus make use the possibility to certify the PC-CHIPS you produce.
tested By the manufacturers of pellet and stokerburners
Manufacturers of pellet and stoker burners are currently testing various qualities of PC-CHIPS and are noting which types that can be used in their different models. Many burners can use PC-CHIPS in a given quality without any required changes, while others must have small adjustments made, which manufacturers like to contribute to. Over time, PC Stål ApS will build a website with an overview of which quality PC-CHIPS fits in a given burner - partly based on manufacturer’s instructions, but also from the feedback received from customers. Here you will also find tips on how to use PC-CHIPS as best as possible.
the unique pc-chips results in an increased value
The right chip quality, gives the highest overall value – Not just in monetary terms, but also with the PC-CHIPS versatile usability in mind e.g by. replacing wooden pellets with this cheaper product.
The market for wood pellets is huge and growing - and the prices are rising with it. Current and future users of wood pellets would of course love to have a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to them. With a PC Pellet chipper and the product PC-CHIPS, it is very simple to produce and identify the chip in the right size and quality for this to become reality.
The PC-CHIPS is a unique product and with the new standards which accurately describe the chip’s quality and properties, the sales process is facilitated through the fact that it makes it easier for the customers to identify the right product.
PC pellet chippers with high capacity - even with the 360 degrees screen mounted
The PC pellet chippers design is based on the already well-tested and well-proven disc chipping principle, which is known from the majority of the chippers available on the market today. However the PC pellet chippers differs considerably from these standard machines, by further having a built-in 360 degree screen mounted. In this system the wood is firstly cut by chipping knives, like in any other chipper based on the disc principle. After the wood is cut, all the chips must to pass through the screen. The chips that are small enough will just pass through the holes in the screen. But the remaining chips – named pegs and lumps – that are too big to just pass through, are cut again in an interaction between the screen’s hole’s edges and separate screen knives, which also ensures that the screen doesn’t clog. Since all the wood chips must pass through the screen’s holes, it is guaranteed that there are no pegs and lumps coming through. This makes the chips, PC-CHIPS, ideal for heating purposes or other applications where the quality of the chips is crucial.
You could think that the screen system would reduce the capacity of the chipper significantly, but it is not the case. The screen should primarily only interact with the pieces of wood that are too big to just pass through the screen’s holes. Obviously this operation costs energy, but a large part of it is energy that should have been used on chipping the wood down to the correct size with the cutting knives in the first place. Any additional energy used is well compensated in the increased value of the PC-CHIPS, due to its high quality.
Good economy for both the consumer and the producer - With an added environmental benefit
With a Danish market price for dry PC-CHIPS typically 0.80 to 1.00 DKK (= c. EUR 0.1 to 0.15) per kilo, it is very beneficial for the owners of pellet or stoker furnaces to switch to PC-CHIPS as an alternative to the wooden pellets – And it is also a good business for the producer of PC-CHIPS.
Experiments with beech wood, that can be found and documented on PC Stål ApS' YouTube channel, shows that without going to the PC pellet chipper's capacity limit, it is possible if one hour of operation to produce chips in an amount equivalent to a sales value of DKK 8,000.- (c. EUR 1075). Thus, one can quickly achieve significant savings compared to the wooden pellets.
And then there is the additional environmental benefit that you can produce PC-CHIPS locally where it is needed, where the wooden pellets often are shipped over even very large distances - not to mention saving the energy that is used in the production of wood pellets.
Room on an expanding market
More contractors are needed to produce and sell chips locally - in the right quality and quantity – due to an expanding market for PC-CHIPS.
It is very easy to get started; many have both a tractor and a forest trailer with only the PC Pellet chipper missing, to get started producing and selling PC-CHIPS.
We can clearly sense that these measures boost activities. There is no doubt that betting on the PC CHIPS, which starts where the others have to give up, it's just right. And we have no lower limit to how small the PC pellet chipper can make the PC-CHIPS - it's only a matter of right combination of the screen’s hole size and knives’ cutting height.
Instead of having to build large complex combustion plants which almost have to have a chipper built-in to handle the coarse wood chips with pegs and lumps, then it is much simpler to make a fine uniform PC-CHIPS from the start.
And for contractors and manufacturers of pellet and stoker burners, it is important to get on the bandwagon and get the products ready.