Storage and Handling

General advice about storing and handling wood pellets

To ensure you get the most from your pellet boiler, it is important that your storage and handling system is correctly designed and constructed.  This ensures that pellets arrive in your boiler in the best state to achieve optimum combustion to provide you with economical, trouble-free heating and hot water. The UKPC has a pellet storage and handling guide which comes from over twenty years of wood pellet experiences in Germany. To download this guide click here. A short summary of the key issues to consider are:
  • Maximum distance from storage hopper to delivery truck: 30m
  • Avoid bends in pipework if possible, min swept bend radius 500mm
  • 4” steel pipework ideal
  • Solid silos require a vent pipe.
  • Auger style: slope to auger 40deg or more
  • 10mm rubber matting required to dampen pellet velocity on delivery (minimizing dust creation)
  • No Moisture ingress
  • Sight glass to visually see level of pellets
  • Storz A or male Cam Lock couplings required with dust caps
Generally you should consider the biggest store you can afford or have space for as this will enable you to buy pellets cheaper. Health and Safety advice As with all fuel stores, you need to treat your wood pellet store with care and attention.   Pellets do give off carbon monoxide, so certain precautions should always be taken – see HSE Safety Notice for more details. Key considerations are:
  • Pellets stored in a poorly ventilated space can let off a dangerous quantity of odourless carbon monoxide.
  • No entry for unauthorised or untrained persons. Keep children away from the storeroom. The store should be locked.
  • Check the atmosphere with an appropriate device before entry into the pellet store
  • No smoking, fires or naked flames.
  • The room should be adequately ventilated before entering. Keep the door fully open whilst inside.
  • There is a danger of injury from moving parts.
  • Pellet stores are defined as a “confined space”, a brief guide to working safely can be downloaded from the HSE here.
UKPC video on pellet handling The UK Pellet Council has created a training film on good design for wood pellet handling: