About Biomass Boilers
Biomass boilers are considered more efficient than conventional boilers. The system provides the required hot water for the whole house or office in addition to the space heating. When it comes to renewable heating options, biomass boilers are top of the list. In both commercial and domestic settings, biomass boilers use wood pellets to combust and produce heat and meet renewable energy needs.
Even though they are popular and have a great reputation, these biomass boilers are still facing confusion, especially with the question: “Are biomass boilers an efficient way to generate heat energy for the homes”?
To address the myths and eliminate uncertainties, here is the complete guide to biomass boilers and whether you should choose them as a means of generating renewable energy.
What Is A Biomass Boiler?
A biomass boiler is a heating device that utilizes natural or non-fossil fuels for heat production. In order to understand better, one must know what biomass is and what it means! Biomass is defined as a fuel that is derived from organic matter, primarily wood. Traditionally, biomass is considered a magical material that can easily be burned to generate heat. Do you wonder where one can obtain biomass?
Availability of biomass for biomass boilers:
It is possible to obtain biomass from any type of flammable plant matter that can be burned. Biomass is a good fuel source because it is easily available and has a high production rate. Furthermore, some of the wood waste material can be used as biomass, reducing the ecological impact of humans on the environment.
Why use biomass?
Biomass is a great fuel source for biomass boilers. Initially, biomass burning may not make sense, but carbon dioxide is no longer released during the process. The reason is that the carbon dioxide released during biomass burning equals the carbon dioxide captured by the biomass during its lifetime. Meanwhile, the amount of carbon dioxide released during biomass combustion is much lower than that released in the combustion of fossil fuels.
Depending on the efficiency needed, different types of biomass will be utilized. For the burning of wood biomass, the most common types are wood chips, wood logs, and wood pellets, among others.
How Does A Biomass Boiler Work?
The question is: how does the biomass boiler produce warmth by combusting wood pellets? Fuel availability and operation simplicity are primary reasons for the popularity of biomass boilers. This explains why these biomass boilers work in a very similar fashion to your current boiler at home, utilizing the simple combustion process. A difference, in this case, is the use of biomass as a source of fuel as opposed to fossil fuels.
Biomass boilers produce heat by burning fuel, such as wood pellets, wood chips, or logs, at a specified temperature. Fuel for biomass boilers must be continually fed, either manually or automatically, via the heating system, in order to prevent an interruption in operation. It is important to remove ash continuously with extra care and attention.
Water can be heated and boiled using biomass boilers, as indicated in their name. In light of this fact, two conclusions can be drawn. It is possible to boil water in a biomass boiler or to heat a home with the water heating the house.
What Fuel Do Biomass Boilers Use?
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Biomass boilers burn wood chips, wood logs, and wood pellets to generate heat energy. To help you understand which fuel is best for your home or office boiler, we have provided more details about biomass boiler fuel.
Wood chips are smaller pieces of wood, also known as wood waste. They are readily available, cheaper and are ideal for biomass boilers used in large buildings.
Wood Pellets: Wood pellets can be used in biomass boilers, resulting from compact sawdust and forestry. These are best used for boilers that require continuous functioning throughout day and night.
Wood Logs: Another fuel type that can be utilized in biomass boilers. Wood logs can be a good option but require you to feed the fuel by hand. However, a small number of wood logs can generate enough heat. Therefore, one looking to heat the large surroundings in less time can use the wood logs.
Is Biomass Fuel More Efficient Than The Traditional Ones?
The first thing we need to clarify before diving into this section is “what is the fuel on which our biomass boiler runs?”.The most common biomass boiler fuels are wood chips, wood pellets, and logs, which are made from industrial and agricultural organic wastes. Compared to fossil fuels, biomass boiler fuel is inexpensive and produces little ash and fumes.
kWh per unit
Price (per unit)
£100 / tonne
£200 / tonne
4.8p / kWh
60p / litre
What to look for in a biomass boiler?
Plenty of factors count while you’re purchasing biomass boilers for your home or office. However, on the top, all remains the size, cost, and efficiency. Here’s how!
As mentioned earlier, wood chips boilers can take up more space, and hence this type of biomass boiler will require more space. On the contrary, pallet-based biomass boilers can be utilized if you have a compact space.
Next comes the cost, which can influence your buying decision. Biomass boilers can range from £8,000 to £15,000, depending on your needs and choices. The factors that affect the cost of the boiler include the amount of heat needed, efficiency, and functionalities. Once installed, the cost of operation depends on the usage time and fuel consumption.
Every biomass boiler comes with its own rated power and output value! Most of the boilers can provide up to 80% of efficiency and depend on the fuel type, fuel flow, and insulation of the home in which the boiler is installed.
How To Use The Biomass Boilers?
Integrating the biomass boiler with the heating system is one of the best ways to use it. You can even use the existing boiler to burn wood pellets, thereby using a renewable resource.
Should you find the heating process insufficient, you can then switch to the traditional heating method. Biomass boilers can be integrated with air-source heat pumps and ground-source heat pumps.
Lets make a change on how we use energy.