Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 3hp pellet mill's dimensions?
Overall dimensions are 29"h x 12w x 30"
to the top of the hopper. The weight is about 125 pounds. The wooden crate it ships in is a little bigger length and
width, but the height is shorter because the funnel on top comes off. Also the wheels are removed for shipping.
How big are the pellets?
The pellets are about 1/4" or 6mm wide. They are
about 3/4" long, but can be longer or shorter as they vary. The die that extrudes them has 68 holes it. Every time
the roller forces material down the die the pellet grows. Every so often, for I reason I don't know, the pellet breaks off
the die, and fall down the shoot.
Can I adjust the pressure to mill different materials?
Yes there are screws on the mill that adjust to vary the pressure of the pressure wheel for different materials.
There seems to be a "feel" you will need to develop to make good pellets. We will have formulas for you to use as
we receive them the pellet mill community.
How many pellets can I make
You will need to experiment, but the the normal rule is 20
pounds per hour per HP. The first ten minutes will not make many pellets because the die has to heat up.
Once it's hot the pellets start coming out, but LOTS depend on the material you are trying to pelletize. One of
the first tests I did was with maple shavings. They were from a planer. Once the mill was at temperature I made pellets from
the large garbage bag full in a few minutes. I was surprised at how nice the pellets were. Smooth and hard and shiny
and hot, ...too hot to hold until they cooled off a little.
holds the pellets together?
When natural materials such as sawdust are
compressed as in the pellet mill, the pressure plus the heat caused by the milling produces a natural substance called lignin.
See our WIKI page for more on lignin. This makes the pellets hold together. However, depending on how dry the material
is, additional moisture may have to be added as you make pellets. This may be as simple as spray the material with a little
water, There are also all natural binders on the market that can be added to the material you're pelletizing.
Can I pelletize 100% sawdust or wood shavings with any of our machines?
Yes, all of the machine can pelletize 100% wood......BUT it is not easy. As a matter of fact there are a lot
of variables that need to be controlled to make 100% wood pellets. If you make any in the beginning, you probably just got
lucky. Sorry to say but it's true. Now for the good news, mix that wood with 2 or 3 parts "Green" biomass like
grass, corn stalks, leaves and is really pretty easy. Call us and we will help you understand the pelletizing process.
But what if I ONLY want to make 100% wood pellets?
Well the answer is that you need to buy the right machine, and you will be delighted with the results. The
right machine is called a "double gear reduction". It uses a gearbox to multiply the power of the motor to the "working"
part of the machine. It's like riding your bike up a hill, you shift to a gear that is easier to pedal. Wood is harder than
green biomass, it takes more power. Just using a larger machine with a bigger motor does not neccessarly work, it is all about
the horse power vs the size of the machine. Let me be clear, yes you can pedal uphill without down shifting, but it a lot
harder than it needs to be. Likewise you can use a single gear reduction to make all wood pellets, it just a lot harder
than it needs to be too.
What kind of power do I need to run the Pellet
The 3 hp machines use 220 volt single phase power. This is the same
kind if power that runs an electric oven, or dryer. 7.5hp and 10hp machines will use 3 phase power. Three phase
is a more efficient way to run larger hp machines.
What is the difference
between single phase and three phase power?
In simple terms single phase
has 3 wires - 2 "hots" and a ground. Three phase has 4 wires - 3 "hots" and a ground. Want to know more
see our WIKI.
Is it possible to convert single phase power to three phase
Yes, there are converters. The two basic types are "static"
and "rotary". Static are lower in cost, but only are able to power the machine at 2/3 the rated power. For example
a 10 hp connected to a static converter runs at 6.6 hp. A rotary converter will provide full hp, but is more expensive. For
example a static converter for a 10 hp is about $225 (at the time I'm writing this), and a rotary, which needs to be up-sized
so in a 15hp size is about $945. This is the brand I've used and liked. http://www.americanrotary.com