PLEASE NOTE ERROR IN OLD DISTRICT HEATING CALCULATOR - PLEASE USE THIS REVISED COPY
This software should be useful to anybody working in the heating & ventilating industry, but particularly to those involved with biomass boilers. The Whole Building Heat Loss Calculator is meant for boiler sizing and district heating design. The Expansion Calculator includes many boiler house items together with the distribution pipework and heating systems. The Chimney Calculator is for determining the minimum height for various biomass boilers. The Distric Heating Calculator is to aid in the design and selection of district heating systems.
Our first offering is the "Whole Building Heat Loss Calculator". Sorry about the mouthful but it does describe exactly what the program does. In many cases the heat load for a building is computed by adding the heat losses for each room or area together. In other cases we have seen the use of heat loss factors of 100 and 150 watt/sq.m. and 40watt/cu.m. used for modern buildings. These methods for calculating the heat losses result in oversized boiler plant (often as much as double) and therefore reduced thermal efficiency. With modern gas and oil fired boilers the customer is generally unaware of the problems as these boilers turn down with little trouble. However, when an oversized biomass boiler is installed problems will arise. Biomass boilers will only turn down to around 1/3 MCR so oversizing will cause trouble. This quick & easy program will enable better boiler sizing and fuel consumption estimates.
Our second program is designed to help installers and designers to calculate the total volume and expansion of any heating system. This should most helpful to installers of biomass boilers where large accumulators are quite common. The total volume is useful for determining suitable chemical treatment. The program includes a quick Pipe Volume Calculator which can be used independently to give an approximate volume of any pipe size (in the included range) for any length.
Biomass Boiler Efficiency
We offer formulae for calculating the flue gas loss & the inferred thermal efficiency of modern biomass boilers. The formula is an approximation but adequate for most applications.
This calculator is currently in use for determining chimney heights for two particular manufacturer's ranges of biomass boilers. It is currently an Excel™ spread sheet specifically designed for the Froeling and KWB chip, pellet, and log boilers and is not very adaptable for other boilers. The next development should see this written in "Java" towards the end of the year. It will be suitable for use on any boiler and will be put on this web site as soon as possible.
Pipe Flow Calculator
This is a basic Java programme for quickly calculating the flow rate and pressure drop in flow and return heating mains. Although it was meant to be a precursor to the District Heating Calculator it turned out to be much simpler.
District Heating Calculator
This is a Java programme to assist you to assess the pipe sizes and boiler sizes required for district heating schemes. Diversity is applied to the domestic hot water loads but not to the heating loads. The formulation for the diversity factor is complex but we have included our version of the factor. The flow formulae are included and we have also added a short term peak (STP) calculation which attempts to indicate the half hour peak that the thermal store should be able to satisfy.
We are currently investigating how thermal stores or buffer vessels perform from a theoretical viewpoint. The information is presented as two spreadsheets, one being for constant boiler flow temperature and the other for minimum return temperature. The objective is to help engineers to understand the operation of buffer vessels when used with biomass boilers. They are available from the download page.
The spreadsheet is designed to aid in the sizing of biomass fuel stores. There is a lot of confusion regarding fuel moisture content and fuel store sizing. The design of commercial biomass boiler installations for burning wood chip should normally be designed on chip with 30% moisture content. Most commercial chip boilers will burn chip at 20 to 33% moisture content. We consider it bad practice to design on higher moisture contents unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is a waste of energy to transport more water than necessary in the fuel and the net calorific value reduces with water content. It is available from the download page.
Some of the programs will be free of charge but others will require a nominal fee for access.All of the software will eventually be written in "Java" to make it independent of any particular operating system. The programs will all be tested on Linux and Windows™. The Excel™ spreadsheets that we use will be replaced with new "Java" programs and will be available to everyone.
The java programs were built using NetBeans, the site was built using Nvu, and the Windows™ download packages with JSmooth. The pages were validated by W3C. My thanks go to all involved.
Please let us know what you think of the current software. Also, if you would like to see any other developments or modifications please tell us. This software is particularly designed to assist those working in the field of biomass heating systems but most of it is suitable for any heating system. You can use the link at the bottom of the page to send us an e-mail.