I have been installing biomass boilers and supplying woodchip for biomass boilers in the UK for the last 5 years and providing information to my clients on a daily basis.
I get asked many of the same questions from customer to customer so I felt obliged to share some of the most common questions and answers online for anyone who is considering investing in a biomass system.
As I just mentioned, these are the most common, general questions and answers, there are other factors that need to be discussed between you and your biomass or wood chip supplier before installing a system at your property that you will need to discuss, so please use the following information as a general guide for now.
Wood chip boilers are environmental friendly alternatives for those who are looking forward to trim down their operation costs by using biomass fuels.
Wood chips are being increasingly used for biomass boilers throughout the UK and Europe.
Biomass refers to any organic matter that is used as a fuel to generate heat or electricity. Wood chip boilers are suitable for larger scale systems and for properties that are located in rural areas.
However in recent years I have started to see woodchip boilers being used in flats, office establishments, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and even airport terminals as a way of reducing the carbon foot print whilst reducing energy costs.
Wood chip boilers need to be supplied with appropriate biomass fuels; yet this will vary, depending on the boiler type and size.
Now you should know that there are two important variables to be taken into consideration which are the particle size and moisture content. If wood chips are very big, they can block the fuel feed system and reduce the efficiency of the boiler. If the moisture consistancy is not correct then the wood chip will burn to quickly or not at all.
Here are a few other important things that you should know about Biomass wood chip boilers:
- Wood chip boilers are bulky in size. Most manufacturers produce boilers that are 40KW or more.
- Wood chips can be produced in different sizes and moisture content standards. This means one needs to take into account fuel specifications of the boiler to ensure that it suits the fuel that you have available.
- Ensure that your fuel is free from contamination as fuel that has mud or stones can lead to decreased efficiency in a boiler. Contaminated fuel can even lead to increased wear and tear. If you plan to use treated wood, then make sure you abide by with the waste incineration directive.
- Take into account transport and fuel delivery for the boiler.
- The design of the fuel store plays a crucial role in the project cost. It is ideal to plan the fuel delivery method right at the design stage. A tipped delivery is a good choice for a bulk fuel store, especially for sites that gives access to a lorry or a trailer.
- If you are located in a smokeless zone and want to burn wood, then you need to use only approved boilers. Wood can be burnt in a smokeless zone if you have an Exemption Certificate for your boiler. Companies like Clearview, Dovre, Morso, Jotul, Giles, Hargassner, Dunsely, etc., manufacture boilers with Exemption Certificates.
- Wood chip boilers use low-cost renewable fuel and have about 95% efficiency.
- They are safe and reliable.
- Wood chip boilers are mostly self-cleaning and come with up a long shelf life and low maintenance.
Today, there are numerous places where you can buy woodchip for biomass boilers around the world. Wood chips require less processing when compared to wood pellets; this means they can efficiently use biomass.
Country farms or country estates are best suited to use wood chip boilers as woodland areas are near the point of end use.
Wood chip is a low-cost wood fuel and is definitely a greener alternative. Wood chip boilers can work in sync with buffer tanks and can even burn wood pellets if their feed systems are altered.
One of the most important things to remember is that wood chip boilers work best if you do not store wood chips for a very long duration. If stored for a long duration, wood chips accumulate moisture, causing them to burn poorly.
Ok, so that is pretty much everything you need to know if you are looking to get a general idea of biomass boilers and woodchip for biomass boilers.
For more information then I recommend checking out the following UK based biomass suppliers who will be able to answer your more advanced questions regarding this topic: www.brendonhill.co.uk and www.nexusenergyuk.com