Bio Ethanol Fireplaces Efficiency
A lot of people discuss and ask about the efficiency about ethanol fireplaces. Instead of answering the question, I will leave it up to you to assess whether ethanol fireplaces are efficient or not.
To me, efficiency of ethanol fireplaces consists of the heat they produce, the burning time and the operating cost of the fireplace.
The most interesting aspect for many is whether or not ethanol fireplaces give off any heat. The answer is clear: they do give a substantial amount of heat. However, you cannot use the fireplaces as a primary source of heat, but they are a nice supplement. Should you have a room between 20-50 sq. meters that gets cold during winter, you can easily use an ethanol fireplace to heat up the room.
The heat output is around 2.5-3.5 kW, which is enough to heat a fairly large room. The heat output depend on the size of the flame, which can be regulated (in most cases) with a rod & lid. The fuel is available in many different types, but in most cases there wont be a large difference, the flame size is the primary driver.
Once the fireplace is lit, it will usually take 15-25 minutes for it to heat up a room of 30-40 sq. meters. The fireplace produce heat from the second it is lit as flames appear very fast, and the heat is simply distributed as hot air flowing from the flames.
Another important aspect of ethanol fireplaces is the burning time. Many potential customers are concerned that they wont get more than 1-2 hours of flames, but don’t worry – most of the products I sell burn a minimum of 4-5 hours.
Not everyone is satisfied with 4-5 hours of flames, but once the fireplace runs out of fuel, you can easily refill the burner with bioethanol once it is cooled off (5-15 minutes).
In most settings, 1-3 hours is more than enough. If you fill a single litre of ethanol into the fireplace, you should get around 2 hours which is perfect, however filling the fireplace to the top gives better flames, and allows the fireplace to light up faster. Once lit, it takes 1-2 minutes for nice yellow flames to rise, as the fuel needs to get hot.
The heat or burning time wouldn’t really matter if the cost were unbearable. Therefore the efficiency also depends on the consumption of fuel, as it is the key driver of the cost. Obviously, the consumption of fuel varies a lot from model to model. As an example, I will use Vauni Globe as a reference point of calculating cost.
Burning time: min. 5 hours
Capacity: 2 litres
Cost of fuel: £2.5 per litre
Operating cost per hour: 5 / 2 x £2.5 = £1 per hour
Some models might not provide 5 hours on two litres of bioethanol, but for most of the products from Vauni this is the case.
So what’s your conclusion?
Personally I think that ethanol fireplaces are efficient in the sense that the cost is okay, the flames and burningtimes are perfect, and they give off enough heat. To me that’s all I need.