Pellet press, how to choose it? Our opinion on pellet machines.

Single-phase electric pellet presses

Three-phase electric pellet presses

Pellet presses on PTO tractor

Thermal engine pellet presses

You want to buy a pellet press to save money, be in an ecological approach while recycling your waste and plant shreds. In this article we guide you to choose the right machine.

What is a pellet press?

To begin, we will explain to you what a pellet press is.

The pellet press or pellet machine is used to transform input into pellets. You can thus produce a wide variety of pellets.

Heating pellet

Pellets for feeding animals

Fertilizer sticks

The best pellet presses

Here, we have chosen the best pellet presses based on their power supply. You will find the best electric pellet press in single-phase, three-phase, for tractor and thermal.

The heating pellet

Coming from activities such as pruning, biomass constitutes an interesting source of energy when you have a pellet press. Biomass is all organic matter that can produce energy. For example, after pruning trees the branches and leaves are called biomass.

The pellet press produces a source of energy from the recycling of green plants, straw and any organic residue that lends itself to this transformation.

Animal pellets

Thanks to the pellet press it is possible to make food for our animals yourself. The machine will create nutritious pellets by adding the vitamins and minerals necessary for your livestock.

The fertilizer stick

Following the initial recipe, you can obtain fertilizer sticks with the components of your choice.

How does a machine work to produce pellets?

The operating principle of the pellet press is quite simple. First of all, it is necessary to prepare a mixture that will be suitable for making pellets. The recipe will depend on what pellets you want to obtain.

The mixture must be homogeneous and not contain any pieces that are too long.

After turning on the machine, simply feed the filling hopper.

The pellet press compacts materials using a die and a motor. Pressure and temperature create the granules through this matrix.

Finally, the pellets come out of the machine hot. They obtain their final consistency after cooling.

The advantages of a pellet press

    • Create personalized granules with the desired quality

    • Recycling of biomass, shredded material.

    • Practical and economical

The main advantage is that you will have the possibility of making your own pellets with very high quality. It is possible to find recipes, but also to personalize them according to your needs.

The second advantage is ecological. It becomes possible to recycle the biomass from your activity in order to obtain an economical and efficient source of energy.

Finally, pellet presses are practical and economical. They are easy to use, they are generally on wheels so they can be moved easily. The machine may have a high cost but as you will have understood, it quickly pays off.

The inconvenients

We will review the disadvantages of a pellet press

    • The machine takes up space even if they are compact

    • It takes time to produce pellets.

    • Presses require minimal maintenance

What materials can be put in a pellet press?

There are three main categories of pellets. Heating, nutrition and fertilizer pellets.

Materials to make heating pellets

If you want to produce pellets for heating, simply use plant shreds. You can buy them or use the ones you produce. It is possible to use sawdust, straw and paper.

What materials for animal nutrition

For this section, we advise you to contact a nutrition specialist depending on your animal. Generally animal pellets contain cereals such as corn, oats or hay. To this are added vitamins and minerals so that your animals have all the necessary intake.

Materials to make fertilizer sticks

To develop your crops, granulated manures are very effective. The sticks are made from animal droppings such as poultry, horses or cattle. It is possible to add a lot of product to enrich the soil such as algae, crushed bones and horns.

How to choose a pellet press?

The pellet press is a fairly heavy investment depending on the production you want to achieve with it. This is why it is important to choose the right model that meets your needs and your budget. In this paragraph we will show you the different points to take into account when choosing your pellet machine. Finally, we will give you our general opinion on this type of machine.

According to our studies, there are 5 important criteria:

    1. Hourly production

    1. The price

    1. The type of power supply / motorization

    1. The diameter of the sieve

    1. Weight and bulk

Now that you know the main criteria, we will study them in detail in order to understand what you can choose.

The hourly output of a pellet press

If you are embarking on the project of making your own pellets, we recommend knowing your pellet needs. These needs will be expressed in Kilo. For example, in a residential house the need for heating pellets is around 2 tonnes per year. It is essential to have these values ​​in order to choose a machine with an hourly output that correlates with your production needs.

As for pellet machines, they produce from 20 Kg per hour to 110 Kg per hour.

How much does a pellet machine cost?

You’ve probably noticed, but the prices are very diverse. The cost of a pellet press is between €1000 and €12,000.

Obviously the price directly influences the quality of the machine but also the quality of the pellets produced.

There are 5 ranges of pellet machines.

    1. Economical : The product in question comes from the economical range in its category and is ideal for limited and domestic use. However, this is a feature-limited machine designed for users who need occasional equipment that does not require significant performance.

    1. Domestic use : aimed at users who want to obtain a good quality product, without needing extremely high performance. These machines are intended for private use, for which this product will bring satisfaction to all those who use it to carry out common tasks and with little frequency.

    1. Semi-pro : The product is intended for individual users looking for a high quality item, although it is not considered professional. Suitable for intermediate use, it can however offer high level performance with efficiency specific to its definition. It is very appreciated by users who are particularly attentive to the characteristics of the product during the purchasing phase.

    1. Professional : The product is suitable for companies and professionals in the sector, as well as individual users wishing to acquire a product of reliable quality and superior performance. These machines are suitable for frequent and intensive use, thanks to their superior mechanics, their high performance, their reliability and their long-life guarantee.

    1. Industrial : These products have excellent mechanical design and are ideal for intensive use. They feature superior performance to those in the category and are recommended for professionals in the sector wishing to obtain the maximum in terms of performance, reliability and durability over time.

The type of motorization or power supply

Here, your choice will be dictated by your electrical installations or your equipment already in place.

You will have the choice between 4 main categories of food.

Single-phase 230 volt electric pellet presses.

Single-phase electric pellet presses, these machines are limited to 3 HP of power but they have the advantage of being usable from a domestic power outlet. This is why they are intended for people who want to use the machine at home.

400 Volt three-phase electric pellet presses

Three-phase electric pellet presses have greater power than single-phase presses. Power ranges from 5 HP to 10 HP. They make it possible to produce large quantities of pellets.

Tractor-mounted pellet presses

Tractor-mounted pellet presses connect directly to the tractor’s power take-off. There is no need for electric current, but the tractor must be running and supplied with fuel.

Thermal pellet presses

Here, it’s total autonomy. The motor of the pellet machine is thermal. These machines deliver great power and are economical. But they are noisy.

Choose the sieve diameter

The diameter of the sieve will correspond to the final diameter of the pellet.

The sieves available range from 4 to 8 mm. For heating fuel, the diameters should be 6 mm.

For some fertilizer and animal feed, it is better to choose smaller (4mm) or larger (8mm)

Weight and bulk

We end with the last criterion which is weight and size. We advise you to choose a machine that is handy and can be stored easily.

The weight of the machines can reach 180 kg, it is advisable to look carefully at the type of wheel to be sure that you will be able to maneuver them with ease.

Maintaining a pellet mill

Maintenance of the pellet press must be done rigorously if you want to keep a machine that produces quality pellets and lasts over time.

Cleaning the press must be done after each use in order to remove all residues and avoid accumulation of materials. When cleaning, take the opportunity to inspect the machine elements to identify possible breakages.

Lubrication and lubrication of all moving parts of the machine according to the instructions for use. This is an important part of maintenance because the machine is subjected to high pressure and heat. For it to last over time, it will need to be taken care of.

It goes without saying that any parts that are broken or likely to break must be repaired. This will prevent you from being broken down when you want to produce.

Our verdict on pellet presses

As you will have understood, choosing a pellet press is not easy but it is an investment that will quickly pay off. This is why we give you the best advice on purchasing your future pellet press.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about single-phase electric pellet presses

    1. What is the electricity consumption of a single-phase electric pellet press? Power consumption depends on the model and engine power. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to find out the exact consumption of the press you are considering purchasing.

    1. Can I produce pellets from different raw materials with just one press? Yes, most pellet presses can process various raw materials, such as sawdust, wood chips, straw, miscanthus and agricultural residues. However, it is essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding raw materials compatible with the chosen pellet press.

Glossary of technical terms related to pellet presses

    • Biomass : Organic material of plant or animal origin that can be used as a source of energy.

    • Matrix : Part of the pellet press through which the material is compressed to form pellets.

    • Rolls : Components of the pellet press that compress the material against the die to form pellets.

    • Single phase : Type of domestic electric current, characterized by a single voltage phase.