Frequently Asked Biomass Questions
Can a biomass boiler be connected to my existing heating system?
Yes. Usually they are connected to your heating system like any other boiler.
Can a biomass boiler supply hot water in summer as well as heating in winter?
Summer hot water loads are usually very small in relation to the size of the boiler, typically 5% – 10% of the boiler rating and, as such, are always less than the minimum output of the boiler. The use of a correctly sized buffer vessel allows the boiler to be operated for short periods to charge the vessel. Hot water is then drawn from the buffer vessel as required to meet the load.
Can a biomass boiler work fully automatically?
Yes, all our ETA systems for wood pellet & chip can working automatically and can be monitored remotely.
Do I need a tall chimney?
It does depend on the application, but typically they do not need to be obtrusive.
Do I need another boiler as a back-up?
No. Normally they will be in place of a fossel fuel boiler. However, when they are retrofitted, especially for commercial systems it is easy to leave the existing boiler in place and via a heat exchanger add the biomass boiler to the heating system.
How is a biomass boiler controlled?
In many respects biomass boilers can be controlled based on heat demand just as with fossil fuelled boilers.
How much fuel will I need?
As with any heating system the amount of fuel required will depend on the size of boiler and the period for which it is operated. However, compared to Oil or LPG fuel bills will be reduced.
What are the best applications for a biomass boiler?
Anywhere that is off the mains grid as fuel is typically 4p/kWh compared to 6.5p/Kwh for Oil & 8-9p/Kwh for LPG.
What are the main components of a biomass system?
In addition to the boiler itself, a biomass system will require a fuel store (silo) for wood pellets or wood chip.and a mechanism to extract fuel from the store and to feed it into the boiler. This can be very automated which would be discussed during a site survey. Systems of 20kW or more will require a buffer vessel.
What incentives are there?
Domestically there is currently the Premium Heat Payment which will pay £950 to the owner once the system has been commissioned and then the Renewable Heat Incentive from Spring 2014 with indicative tariffs of 5.2p-8.7p/kWh.
More info can be found at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Getting-money-back/Renewable-Heat-Incentive-RHI
Commercially (also any system replacing 2 or more fossil fuelled boilers) already has started with the Commercial Heat Renewable Incentive which pays 8.3p/kWh.
What is a biomass boiler?
A biomass boiler is a boiler designed to burn solid fuels classed as biomass such as wood pellets, wood chip or logs.
What is the supply of fuel?
Currently supply is far more than demand in the UK and this will only strengthen as demand grows because of the Renewable Heat Incentive.
What maintenance does a biomass boiler require?
It does depend on the boiler and application.
Pellet boilers are all very automated as can be wood chip. Log boilers require daily attendance.
Pellet boilers for domestic applications need very little additional maintenance other than emptying an ash bin. ETA boilers have operating efficiencies of upto 94% so there is very little ash.
Larger commercial systems using wood chip will need more regular maintenance.
Where do I store wood fuel?
All our wood pellet & chip boilers are designed to be fully automatically and therefore will require a fuel silo nearby. Although, domestically this can be as away far away as 20m away.
For wood pellet deliveries access will be required just like an Oil or LPG delivery. Wood chip will need larger access areas. This can all be advised and discussed during site surveys.