Biomass is any biological material sourced from living things such as plants. The biological material can be used directly through burning to release heat, or indirectly through conversion into different kinds of fuel like biodiesel, methane gas or ethanol. The most commonly used fuel in biomass boilers is wood in the form of wood chips, pellets or logs.
Biomass heating systems heat the wood to produce heat which is then used to provide warmth, hot water, or electricity in a home. Using wood instead of fossil fuels reduces climate change effects, because the carbon (IV) oxide released in the burning process was initially absorbed while the trees were growing, so they’re carbon neutral.
Benefits of Biomass Boilers
- Affordable fuel: Though the cost of wood chips, pellets or logs varies from one place to another, it is generally more affordable than electric heating.You can save up to £170-£390 per annum. Most of all, if you have a supply of wood at home already, you can effectively heat your house without paying anything.
- Renewable source of fuel: The carbon (IV) oxide that is emitted during combustion of wood is the same amount that was actually absorbed over the time the tree was growing. The process is quite sustainable so long as new trees continue to be planted in place of those used to produce heat. Using a biomass boiler instead of a coal or electric system can help you to reduce carbon (IV) oxide emissions by up to 9.5 tonnes per year.
- Great way of disposing waste wood: Without a doubt, biomass boilers are a good way of disposing waste wood material. The process is even more sustainable given that you combust your own wood rather than having it delivered from another area.
- Stable prices: The cost of traditional sources of energy such as gas and oil is steadily increasing and the trend isn’t expected to change soon. On the other hand, biomass fuel has prices that are more stable, therefore the heating bills aren’t bound to increase sharply. In general, the cost of biomass is very close to that of gas, but way cheaper than solid fuel or electricity.
- Qualify for RHI: Biomass boilers qualify for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), meaning you can qualify for some periodical payments over a number of years, this helps to cover the initial investment for the boiler installation in a shorter period.
Wood Pellets, Chips or Logs?
Chips are usually used to heat big buildings or groups of homes. Pellets are easier to use and control than logs. Pellet boilers run automatically similar to how gas or oil boilers work. Many chip and pellet boilers have automatic wood feeders which refill them at set intervals. Log-burning boilers need to be filled with fuel manually and require much more effort. There’s need for a lot of logs to provide sufficient heat to an entire house, but they can be less costly compared to pellets given you have a reliable local supply.
Are you thinking of installing a new biomass boiler soon? ST Heating Services Ltd provides expert services for industrial and commercial boilers, heating and plumbing, repair and maintenance in Manchester and throughout the North West, UK. Our heating and plumbing services are guaranteed to impress you.