Due to recent developments, the availability of natural gas is suddenly less obvious than was always assumed. Many Vitotherm customers are therefore investigating the possibility of switching to alternative fuels such as oil or propane.
This writing is intended as general advice. Although great care has been taken with the content, no rights can be derived from it.
Consumption (for the same power): Take the number of m³ of natural gas. Multiply this number by 1.34 to get the comparable propane consumption in (liquid) liters. Most propane suppliers also provide the necessary installation (or through partners).
Important: The propane installation should always be equipped with an evaporator that heats the gas. Especially with large quantities, propane will be very cold and can cause problems with liquid gas to the installation. The gas should never be allowed to get below 5° C. A minimum gas temperature switch should be included in the burner condition circuit.
Vitotherm burners from 2001 to Propane
These burners can be re-commissioned after making some simple adjustments to the burner head (a few plugs and stainless steel gas mixing tubes) and burn on propane without any problems.
Budget price approx.. € 7.500,- (traveling and daily living expenses in Europe included)
In some situations, during this re-commissioning it may be found that the existing gas valve is too large and still needs to be replaced by a smaller one.
Simply “switching” between propane and natural gas is not possible; even when switching back to natural gas, the burner head will first need to be returned to its original state and be re-commissioned.
Vitotherm MONO-Block burners from before 2001 to propane
For these burners a new gas head is necessary after which re-commissioning can take place. Budget price € 15.000,- (traveling and daily living expenses in Europe included)
In some situations during this re-commissioning it can be found that the existing gas valve is too large and needs to be replaced by a smaller one.
Simply “switching” between propane and natural gas is not possible; even when switching back to natural gas the other burner head will need to be replaced and re-commissioned.
Third party burners
If the current supplier does not offer a good alternative for operation on propane, Vitotherm may suggest a burner replacement. We do not carry out modifications on third party burners. Please contact us for this without obligation.
Vitotherm burners from 2001-2020 to Modulating Oil
An alternative to propane: Equip your Vitotherm system with modulating oil as a second fuel (in addition to natural gas). This makes it easy to automatically switch to oil when natural gas is no longer available. Budget price € 35,000,- – € 55,000,-
Please note: in the past, Vitotherm systems in critical applications were often supplied with an oil back-up system. This is not modulating and therefore intended for emergency operation of 2×24 hours. In the event of incorrect combustion/longer use, soot deposits inside the boiler can cause serious damage. For oil operation a three way valve must be installed near the condenser in order not to burn through the condenser.
In summary: Vitotherm offers various options for switching – temporarily – to an alternative energy source such as propane or oil. We will be happy to advise you on this.