Storage Solutions for Wood Pellets

Your local installer can advise you on choosing a wood-pellet heating system and mate it to a storage unit that’s appropriate to the technology and the space in your basement.

Pellet heating comes in many forms. You can start small, warming a room with a pellet stove, or you can decide to use wood pellets to heat your entire house (hot water too). There are storage solutions—from small hoppers to bulk bins to outdoor silos—that can accommodate every homeowner’s heating and storage needs. The units can fit into available space in your basement or utility room or even outdoors. The storage solution you choose depends on how big your heating task is (have you chosen stove or whole-house heat?), your budget, available space and your personality (do want a system that’s automated, or do you want to be hands-on?).

You may already be using standard 40-pound bags to feed your furnace or pellet stove manually. If you’re tired of feeding your appliance every day or two and hauling heavy bags, you can switch to bulk storage. Bulk storage units are part of a system that automatically feeds wood pellets from the hopper into your existing stove, boiler, or furnace—so you don’t have to do all that extra labor.

Bulk storage makes using wood pellets more convenient. You won’t need to rip open countless plastic bags and dump them into your stove or the hopper of your boiler/furnace. There’s no hauling, no plastic-bag waste, and the pellets won’t break down due to handling. What’s more, it’s nearly dust-free because the bulk-storage container is sealed.

Here’s a primer on your options:

(1) Working Hoppers—small hoppers that store between 40 and 550 pounds of pellets. These bins can accommodate most uses of pellet heating.

Wood-Pellet-Storage-Hopper-image

Pellergy Burner fed directly from the 550LBS Pellergy Hopper. This is the standard PB-3550 Wood Pellet Burner setup. This system would be filled with bagged pellets.


(2) Flexible Bins—fabric storage bins that can be freestanding, with no frame, or incorporate a wood, plastic, or metal frame. They typically hold 1.25 to 6 tons of pellets. These are appropriate for homeowners burning pellets for central heat and hot water or pellet stove owners who burn over one ton of pellets per year.

Flexible storage bags for wood pellets

Pellergy Burner fed directly from the Pellergy Hopper; however, in this system the hopper is filled with bulk wood pellets from the Free Standing Flexible Bin (the big blue bag on the Left) with a Pellergy automated auger system. The Flexible Bin is filled directly from a bulk wood pellet delivery truck using a 4” flexible delivery hose and has a capacity of 3-Tons.


(3) Stick-Framed Bins— the storage bin for the do-it-yourselfer. These bins are reminiscent of the coal bins of an earlier era. The bins are framed using standard construction techniques and are typically located in basements. They typically hold 1 to 12 tons—enough pellets to support whole-house heat.

Wood Pellet Boiler

A HS Tarm wood pellet boiler fed with bulk pellets using a Pellergy Automated Auger System and a Stick-Framed bulk storage bin that the customer constructed on-site. The boiler’s hopper is automatically filled with the Pellergy Auger System. The Stick-Framed Bin is filled directly from a bulk wood pellet delivery truck using a 4” flexible delivery hose and has a capacity of 6-Tons.


(4) Steel Bins—freestanding galvanized-steel bins that are fabricated for easy transport and assembly in basements and garages. They typically hold 2.5 to 4 tons; that is enough to accommodate most pellet stoves and central heating in most homes.

4 ton Bin for Wood Pellet Burner System

An Steel Bin installed in a basement of a home using a Pellergy PB-3550 Wood Pellet Burner System. The burner is fed directly from the Bin using the standard Pellergy Auger. The Steel Bin is filled directly from a bulk wood pellet delivery truck using a 4” flexible delivery hose and has a capacity of 4-Tons.


(5) Exterior Silos—agricultural grain silos adapted for wood-pellet storage. They typically hold 3 to 30 tons and are primarily used in industry or agriculture (to heat greenhouses, for example). However, silos may also be used residentially.

External Silo

An Exterior Silo installed outside a Greenhouse that is completely heated using a Pellergy PB-3550 Wood Pellet Burner System. The burner is fed directly from the silo using the standard Pellergy Auger. The Exterior Silo is filled directly from a bulk wood pellet delivery truck using a 4” flexible delivery hose or a standard auger truck and has a capacity of 4.5-Tons.


Bulk Storage
Depending on the level of your heating needs, you may need to buy wood pellets in bulk. (Bulk pellets are sold by the ton; one ton of pellets is about equal to 115 gallons of #2 heating oil.)  To store those pellets you’ll need a hopper holding 4.5 to 6 tons of pellets. You can use the storage bin options listed above for your bulk storage needs.

If you choose to order pellets in bulk, a local supplier will deliver them to your home on a regular schedule. Wood pellet delivery trucks are equipped with a flexible pneumatic hose that blows the pellets through a 4-inch connection on the exterior of your house into the storage hopper.  The connections are capped off to make a water-tight seal.

To find out more about heating your home with pellets, we can put you in touch with a local installer; they can advise you on the technology best suited to your needs. And if you should eventually choose to upgrade from stove or oil heating to wood pellets—or from bagged wood pellet storage to bulk wood pellet storage—they can help you make your decision and will install the new equipment for you.

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