Biomass Information | The Renewable Energy Hub
 

Biomass Boilers

Biomass Boiler Information

 

 

An introduction to biomass boilers

Biomass boilers are a low-carbon and renewable energy source which burn biological plant material - predominantly wood - in order to generate heat or both heat & electricity for combined units. Biomass can be used to heat spaces and water for homes, businesses and communities and can replace existing coal, gas or oil boilers.

The links on the side panel give you all the biomass boiler information you need to be able to make an informed decision about whether the technology is the right renewable energy source for you. A small breakdown of what is contained in the various links on the left can be found below, this will help you find the information you are looking for.

 

Residential Biomass Boiler

Pellet Biomass Boiler With Hopper

The history of biomass heating systems

Utilising the heat energy in Biomass material is an age old practice. It started when we learned to harness fire to our benefit. Wood is the oldest and widest used fuel source and is still used worldwide to provide heat for a range of purposes. As we learned to use biomass to create a more efficient fuel we have developed a range of biofuels. This creation of biofuels using plant or animal matter that are converted into fibres or industrial chemicals has become the second biggest use of biomass today. Biofuels are classified into two main categories.

As an example of biofuels such as bioethanol can be produced by first generation biofuels that are derived from sources such as sugarcane and corn starch.
The way that we burn biomass and the efficiency of the systems that harness its heat energy have evolved. Now we have highly efficient systems designed to heat whole properties through radiators and under floor heating systems; they can heat the water we use at the same time and provide heat for cooking. Modern boiler systems can be self-loading, incorporate climate control at the touch of a button and can self-ignite on a timing system much like a standard gas boiler. For more information on the history of biomass heating systems and their development through to the current day.

How do biomass boilers work 

There are two main ways in which biomass heating systems work. Firstly, a standalone stove that burns logs or pellets to heat a single room; these stoves can also be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well. Secondly a biomass boiler that can burn pellets, logs, wood chips or other biomass fuels. These boilers are usually connected to a central heating and hot water system. To find out exactly how these systems work click how do biomass boilers work to be redirected to our research pages.

Types of biomass system and their various components 

There is a vast range of biomass boilers and other biomass heating systems currently available, from fully automated biomass boilers to small pellet stoves. The section on types of biomass boilers tells you all about what is on offer, small to large and how their components come together to offer you a range of heating solutions. We provide a detailed breakdown of how these various systems offer you a clean and carbon friendly solution to your heating needs. In this section we also tell you about all the biomass fuel types that various biomass systems utilise to provide heat.

Benefits and drawbacks of biomass boilers 

There are many benefits to exploit from biomass heating systems; in this section we explain what these benefits are and how you can achieve them. Firstly, biomass heating systems can help you lower your property’s carbon emissions; biomass fuels produce a fraction of the carbon emissions of fossil fuels and when used in a sustainable, managed way they can even be carbon neutral. Click the following link for detailed information on the benefits of installing a biomass heating systems. This section also lists the potential drawbacks of a biomass system in order to offer you a complete and unbiased representation of this technology group.

Biomass boiler system cost 

This section tells you roughly how much you would need to spend to acquire a biomass heating system. They are not cheap, costing up to three or four times more than a standard fossil fuel boiler. However, once installed they can significantly lower your heating bills and help protect you from ever rising fuel costs.

Biomass boiler maintenance 

Generally, very little maintenance will be needed on your biomass heating system but it will be more than that of their gas and oil counterparts. The How do biomass boilers work section will guide you through your system’s maintenance requirements. Whilst a lot of this can be done by the system’s owner, a qualified profession should look over your system on an annual basis.  

Biomass boiler efficiency 

Biomass boilers when they are correctly installed and maintained can have an efficiency of around 80-90%, significantly higher than many conventional fossil fuel boilers. The main variable when looking at how efficient your boiler will be is the fuel type. To find out more about the efficiency levels of the various biomass fuel types and biomass efficiency ratings in general click Biomass boiler efficiency.

Is a biomass heating system suitable for my property? 

Whilst the beneficial impact of a biomass stove system may vary depending on its usefulness in the proposed property, a biomass boiler system is not always suitable for a property. The high space requirement compared to conventional fossil fuel boilers can mean that a biomass boiler system will not be preferable to a standard boiler system. Access issues for getting fuel to the boiler system may also rule out some larger properties. Click Is a biomass boiler suitable for my property? to be redirected to further information on property suitability.

Are biomass boilers worth installing? 

To evaluate the information contained in this module we ask the question ‘Is a biomass boiler system worth installing?’ Generally, a correctly sized and installed biomass boiler system in a well-insulated property, combined with a good local and sustainable fuel source can definitely present a sound long term investment option when replacing an oil, LPG or electrical heating system and a great method of reducing your property’s carbon footprint.  Read our detailed evaluation on Should I install a biomass boiler?

District and community biomass solutions 

This section explains all about the benefits of centrally distributed, shared and large scale heat distribution systems powered by biomass. These work out not only extremely efficient but highly profitable in the long run. Click district and community biomass systems for more information on this fantastic solution. 

Compare biomass heating system prices 

Interested in getting a quote or exploring the idea further? Our huge installer database and biomass boiler price comparison system will quickly and easily find you your ideal solution.

 

 

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