Guide to Biomass Boilers

Biomass boilers are a great way maintain energy independence from the grid whilst saving money but there are some drawbacks.

Biomass is an organic fuel that is derived from dead organic matter such as plants. It can produce heat directly via combustion, or indirectly, by being converted into various types of fuel. Wood is the most common biomass energy resource which usually comes in a form of logs, pellets, or wood chips.

What’s In This Guide to Wood Pellet Biomass Boilers?

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Biomass fuels can be produced from various kinds of waste such as animal, organic, municipal, or industrial. Biomass is used to produce different kinds of energy types such as methane, gas, biodiesel or ethanol. When burning, biomass can produce different types of energy such as heat which is used to heat homes or generate electricity. It can also be used as a fuel for vehicles.

Biomass is an efficient alternative for coal which can take millions of years to form, and is also environmentally friendly energy resource that can last for a long time. One of the ways to produce biomass is replacing or growing new trees, therefore, it can be delivered very quickly. While growing, plants take in the same amount of carbon dioxide as they produce when they are burning. Therefore, biomass is considered to be carbon neutral energy type. Biomass is very beneficial because not only it produces effective and eco-friendly energy but also it lowers the need for waste disposal.

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With all its advantages, biomass is widely used as a fuel for boilers. You can be sure it is a good idea to install a biomass boiler since they are environmentally friendly and will significantly lower your carbon footprint.

How Wood Pellet Boilers Work

Wood is one of the most traditional and ancient types of fuel used by the humanity. However, during the recent decades, technology has significantly improved which allows us to use the wood as fuel even more effectively. Domestic biomass boilers are a great alternative for oil or gas boilers which will efficiently heat the house, provide hot water and allow you to manage your budget in an effective manner. Modern boilers are designed to be automatic, and they allow you to control the amount of fuel or air forming in the combustion chamber.

The operation of biomass boilers is based and burning wood chips or pellets to produce heat for your house. Transportation of fuel can lead to significant expenses. Therefore, it is recommended to order an annual supply of fuel. For the houses with limited storage space, the wood pellets are available in bags of 10 kilos each.

The fuel from the storage area automatically goes into the boiler. The boilers are equipped with thermostats that help monitor and control the heat, as well as adjust the fan speed and fuel supply. The burning process produces hot gases that travel to the heat exchanger from which they heat the water used in the heating system. Then the property is heated by the water circulating in the central heating system.

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Biomass & Wood Pellet Boiler Types

In comparison to oil or gas fuel, the wood fuel will need significantly more storage space. Wood pellets, wood chips, and logs are the most common types of wood fuel used in biomass boilers. Wood chips and pellets are more suitable for automatic systems because logs have to be manually put into the boiler by a human.

Wood Pellets: Biomass Fuel

Wood pellets are a 100% natural and renewable type of wood which consists of wood shavings and sawdust. They are very simple to use since they don’t require massive storage and have a higher energy content than logs. The systems using wood pellets are compact and don’t require much effort from the user.

Wood Chips: Biomass Fuel

Wood chips are solid and come from cutting the larger pieces of wood.  They are affordable and beneficial, but they are not as effective as wood pellets. However, unlike other types of wood fuel, they require very low input during manufacturing, processing and transportation. Additionally, wood chips are considered to be an efficient and renewable energy source.

Wooden Logs: Biomass Fuel

Logs are a good choice of biomass fuel for those who worried about their impact on the environment as they require the least amount of processing. But keep in mind that logs burned should have a low moisture content to ensure and efficient burn.

Biomass boilers come in two varieties, automatic based systems that require little manual work(pellet and chip fueled systems). And the manual system that requires a more attentive owner. This should be considered when deciding which type to opt for as the time needed to manage a log burning boiler is considerable.

When you consider buying a biomass boiler you have to keep in mind the storage solutions as well as supply and handling of the fuel. It is essential to choose the right type of fuel to get the most out of your biomass boiler.

Biomass Fuel Prices

Prices from your local supplier will vary but our survey found the following averages.

Biomass Compared to Other Heating Types

To give you a ballpark figure of how much you can save by switching to biomass, we’ve compiled the table below. The examples are against non-condensing boilers which are the most likely to be replaced and doesn’t compare ultra modern boilers.

Advantages of Biomass Boilers

Compared to any other type of fuel used in the boilers wood fuel is the most affordable but is practical at the same time.

The amount of carbon dioxide that is produced during the burning process of the wood fuel is equal to the amount that the plant has absorbed during its lifespan. Therefore, your carbon footprint is reduced.

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Biomass is environmentally friendly which means that the emission of carbon dioxide is reduced. However, at the same time it is cost-effective and affordable so not only are you preserving the environment but also you are saving your money.

UK Biomass Boiler Installers

Planning such an investment as a biomass boiler can be stressful and time-consuming. Therefore, it is crucial to find reliable people to work with who can provide you with professional consultation and advice, help you make the right decision and safely install the biomass boiler.

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