What is a Biomass Boiler?
Wood-fuelled heating systems, also called biomass systems, burn wood pellets, chips or logs to provide warmth in a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers.
Where are Biomass Boilers used?
It is becoming more popular and is used particularly in larger buildings. The cost of the boiler has also reduced making it a more affordable option. Whilst the boiler is still more expensive it is more carbon friendly then a conventional ‘A’ rated condensing boiler.
There are still issues regarding access for the pellets that are used as fuel, however, most companies are able to work around access issue by using a hose where necessary.
What are the Advantages of Using a Biomass Boiler?
- Biomass is a “carbon friendly” fuel producing a fraction of the Carbon emissions of fossil fuels.
- It uses local materials.
- The use of biomass fuel provides an economic incentive to manage woodland which improves biodiversity.
- Many biomass fuels generate lower levels of atmospheric pollutants such as sulphur dioxide that contributes to ‘acid rain’.
- Modern biomass combustion systems are highly sophisticated, offering combustion efficiency and emission levels comparable with the best fossil fuel boilers.
What are the Disadvantages of Using a Biomass Boiler?
- The boilers need more space as they’re normally larger than gas or oil boilers. They also require a lot of space to store the fuel, such as a hopper or wood store.
- One of the largest disadvantages of biomass is the initial costs, such as buying the boiler and installing it are high compared with traditional gas or oil boilers.
- Fuel needs to be kept dry if it’s to burn cleanly and efficiently. So storage needs to be considered carefully.
- Biomass can be more labour intensive than traditional gas or oil installations unless you use a hopper, as you’ll have to keep it topped up with pellets or chips etc.
- You’ll need a reliable supply of fuel as all the various types of biomass fuel are not always readily available close to your home. The further they have to be transported the greater the carbon footprint and the greater the cost.