Biomass boilers are the next generation of heating, they provide a carbon lean way to heat your home and come in many different shapes and sizes. Pellet stoves will often range from 2 kW to 12 kW and pellet boilers are often larger and ranges tend to start from around 15 kW upwards.
Heating your home using biomass fuel allows you to stay off grid and provide all your heating needs using a very cost effective fuel compared to oil or log systems.
Domestic biomass boilers will be fuelled using wood pellets, chips or logs. Biomass boilers can be very attractive and positioned in your living space or more commercially looking systems can be located in an out building or garage. Larger boilers will require a dedicated plant room or heat cabin.
Biomass boilers work no differently than any other boiler system, they have a fuel supply that when burnt releases heat that is then used to heat either the air through convection or your water. The water passing through the system is then passed through a heat exchanger and used to heat your home. These are more complex to install than other heating systems but once installed and commissioned they are able to provide you with very cost effective way of heating your property.
The Benefits of Using a Biomass Boiler
Using biomass for heating will not only help you do you bit for the environment but as the government are encouraging these systems the renewable heat incentive will help cover the cost of the boiler, this added to the money saved on fuel compared to more expensive systems such as oil and lpg make it very favourable way of heating your home.
Wood Pellets and Why Quality Matters
Wood pellets are manufactured by hot-extruding compressed sawdust which is produced during the working of natural dried wood. The compactness of the material comes from the lignin which is contained in the wood itself, and allows the production of pellets without the use of glues or binders.
The market offers different types of pellet with characteristics which vary depending on what mixture of woods is used. The diameter varies between 6 mm and 8 mm, with a standard length in the range 5 mm to 30 mm. Good quality pellets have a density which varies between 600 kg/m3 and 750 kg/m3, with a moisture content which varies from 5% to 8% by weight.
Besides being an ecological fuel (exploiting timber residues to the maximum and achieving cleaner combustion than is possible with fossil fuels), pellets also have technical advantages. While good-quality timber has a calorific power of 4.4 kW/kg (with 15% moisture, therefore after about 18 months' seasoning), the equivalent figure for pellets is 4,9 kW/kg.
To ensure good combustion, the pellets must be stored in an area that is free of humidity and protected from dirt. The pellets are usually supplied in 15 kg. sacks, so storing them is very convenient.
Good quality pellets ensure good combustion, thus lowering the emission of harmful agents into the atmosphere.