Typically woodchip fuel storage is co-located with the central boiler house. The amount of fuel required to be stored will determine the size of the storage area. The exact location of the woodchip receiving and storage area should be chosen to help facilitate easy truck access.
As with pellet boilers, woodchip systems can be designed to be either fully automated with conveyors, augers and/or moving floors moving the woodchips from storage to the burner, or semi-automated, with an operator using a small bucket loader to move chips from a long-term storage area to a day bin that feeds it to the burner.
Fully-automated systems generally require limited operator attention – typically about one half hour daily during the heating season. They are a good match for buildings where the maintenance staff has a large workload and does not have much time to devote to the heating plant. These systems are well suited to buildings with significant heat loads and high fossil fuel costs. This high level of operator convenience usually requires costly equipment and a costly building. Fully-automated systems typically employ a below-grade chip storage bin or, if the situation requires, vertical storage silos equipped with a heating loop to keep woodchips from freezing can be used.