What is Biomass?
Biomass is a renewable, low carbon fuel that is already widely available throughout the UK. Its production and use also brings additional environmental and social benefits. Correctly managed, biomass is a sustainable fuel that can deliver a significant reduction in net carbon emissions when compared with fossil fuels.
The oldest of these is wood. People have been burning wood to cook food and heat their homes for hundreds of thousands of years. Being carbon neutral as it absorbs CO2 while it grows and releases the same as when it burns.
Wood fuel biomass boilers make very efficient use of this energy, converting up to 95% of it into usable heat. This compares to only 17% for an open fire. Correctly managed biomass is a sustainable fuel that can deliver a significant reduction in net carbon emissions when compared to traditional fossil fuels.
How it works
A biomass system works by replacing your existing fossil fuel boiler or boilers with one that runs on wood fuel. This is then connected into your current heating system and is controlled either by your existing network or a new ETA Tronic control panel with full weather compensation.
Two main types of fuel are used in biomass boilers,
wood pellets and wood chip. The biomass fuel is loaded
automatically. The boiler automatically controls the
amount of oxygen that is put into the burn chamber
depending on your heating and hot water requirements.
Choosing a biomass system
One of our team of experts will visit the site free of charge to assess your requirements. We will undertake a heat load calculation based on your building type and construction, along with your personal preferences, to counteract the losses through the fabric of the building. This calculation will define the size and fuel type of your biomass boiler.
We will also look at all of your existing controls, which can either be integrated with your existing system or be replaced with a new cutting edge control system depending on your requirements.
Wood chip is timber that has been shredded in a chipper. The chipper reduces the size of the wood for ease of handling and to fit boiler feed systems. It is an easy fuel for automation, with a conveyor belt or screw-feed taking the chips straight from the store into the boiler. Chipped material needs to be dried to achieve low moisture content, ideally 25-35%. To reduce the moisture content close to where the wood will give maximum efficiency, it needs to be forced dried.
What are wood chip boilers?
Wood chip boiler systems can be installed in both commercial and domestic properties but are particularly efficient in a commercial setting. The boiler is installed adjacent to a chip store where an agitator will move the chip through to the boiler via an auger. Extra components are required within the boiler as parts of the system need to be fully automated enabling it to start on demand at a pre-determined time. This means it will start on demand according to your pre-determined time settings in much the same way as a conventional gas boiler would.
For the commercial client, pellet boilers deliver more energy and are fully automated. Wood which has been manufactured from by-products and formed into pellets are sucked into the boiler through a vacuum tube which can pull pellets from 20 metres away, giving great flexibility in the storage of fuel. As the ash is removed automatically they are a clean, reliable and convenient way to heat your home.
Pellets are generally manufactured from by-products from sawmills and other wood processing industries. They are not waste or contaminated wood, just what is left over from a number of processes.
The raw materials include ground wood chips, sawdust and bark.
No chemical additives are needed as the natural lignin of the wood
serves as a binder, although sometimes small quantities
of maize starch are added as well.