Biomass Boilers

Biomass Boilers have been a popular choice in the UK renewable energy marker for a long time now beacuse they are a very adaptable and versatile technology that can be installed to give carbon neutral heat in a range of different heating system situations.

Introduction to Biomass

A biomass boiler is a wood fueled heating system which can provide heating and hot water. This can be for a range of applications such as houses, agricultural buildings, office spaces, warehouses heating and commercial buildings. The boilers burn logs, wood pellets or wood chips to produce the heat required.

Biomass boilers, in simple terms, burn wood to provide a heating source for the building or buildings they are connected to. Pellet and chip-fed boilers often use automatic fuel feeders which are refilled from fuel stores. A wood fueled boiler will generally connect to your existing heating system to provide central heating and hot water requirements without the need for.

Biomass boilers versatility covers homes and factories to farms. A biomass boiler provides a very efficient heat source and is a carbon neutral option. This is because the CO2 emitted when the wood fuel is burned is usually around the same as the amount that was absorbed while the plants were growing.

To allow more people to reap the benefits from the high efficiency of modern biomass boilers, the government introduced the “Renewable Heat Incentive” or RHI. The RHI scheme means that the owner of the biomass boiler gets paid for every unit of heat it produces.

Questions about Biomass

A biomass boiler is a heat generating source that burns wood (pellets, chips or logs) instead of fossil fuels.The boiler works just like a normal domestic or commercial boiler except biomass boilers typically take up more room, have more components and heat to higher temperatures.

No. We inherit new biomass systems on a regular basis due to other installers and companies vanishing or customers just simply not happy with the service they where receiving. We are Viessmann & Stiebel Eltron specialists meaning we can carry out servicing, repairs and amendments to your system while ensuring all work is supporting the Manufacturer Warranty (usually 5 years). It is important to note that biomass systems are very complex systems that require highly trained engineers to service and maintain them so this should only be undertaken by a competent person with the correct training, failure of this could result in Manufacturers Warranty being Void.

No, biomass systems can be designed as fully automated, we always recommend that you check on your biomass system on a monthly basis and empty the ash box if required. While doing this there are standard checks to carry out such as system pressure checks and error report checks but all of this should not take longer then 5 minutes.

Yes, providing that you have a genuine use for the heat i.e 1 or more houses, a commercial building or farm running on fossil fuels and needing heated on a year round basis. A biomass installation is typically more than double the capital outlay of a fossil fuel boiler however you receive payments for the heat you produce through the RHI scheme for the next 20 years and systems are typically paid off in between 5-8 years.

Biomass Boilers are a great way to reduce the cost of milk production or everyday farm bills. Biomass does this by heating the water in your dairy, calf shed, house and offices with wood. This means that instead of paying 12p per kW of electricity to heat that those spaces you get paid to heat them! Through the RHI scheme, reducing overheads & providing a sustainable investment for the future.

The carbon dioxide that is emitted when wood is burned inside the boiler is equal to the amount that was absorbed by the wood over the months and years that the tree was growing. This process is sustainable as long as new plants continue to be planted and grow in place of those used for fuel. There are some carbon emissions caused by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but as long as the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.

Yes. There are finance schemes available for biomass systems due to the fact they are a guaranteed income that is backed by the government and Ofgem for the next 20 years. This makes the project more attractive to investors as they know they will receive a return on the money invested.

In general, yes. However, Biomass systems can be less reliable than your standard oil or gas heating system due to the significant complexity of the systems, biomass boilers have a very intricate set of controls and monitoring devices to ensure their smooth functioning. Other things such as foreign bodies in the fuel, unsatisfactory wood, high moisture content and parts failures can cause the system to function inefficiently or even shut down.

The benefits of biomass energy include:

  • Reduced heating bills – frequently 40% against oil or LPG, more if using own wood fuel.
  • Reduced CO2 emissions – biomass energy delivers the biggest CO2 savings of any renewable heat source
  • Guaranteed income through the Renewable Heat Incentive or RHI per kWh of heat generated
  • Realistic payback periods. Frequently a cash neutral or cash positive position even within payback period.
  • Reduced exposure to fluctuating fossil fuel prices – wood chip and wood pellets are provided with guaranteed pricing.
  • Added value to your business through enhanced green sustainability credentials.
  • Making a significant contribution to your corporate sustainability targets.
  • Stimulation of the local economy, development of new wood fuel businesses, job creation.
biomass woodchips
biomass logpile