Biomass

Brief

BiomassBiomass is a natural material obtained from living or recently living plant life. Our main source of Biomass is from types of trees that can easily be processed into fuel. We obtain our heat from biomass using specially designed stoves and boilers that can be connected to our existing central heating and hot water systems.

Is a Biomass boiler part of the RHI?

A log or pellet boiler falls under the governments RHI scheme which means the government will pay the owner of the system between 4 to 5 pence for every Kilowatt of energy produced. This is worked on a tariff basis and the government review the tariffs every quarter and degrees accordingly.

What are the different types of Biomass?

Biomass is found in the following types:

shutterstock_176221571Logs – Possibly the oldest form of fuel ever used. Specially designed Log boilers allow batches of seasoned logs to be burnt efficiently for long periods of time to supply your heating and hot water needs. Logs are easily sourced and relatively cheap to buy.

Pellets – Wood pellets are a product of waste wood in sawmills and other wood processing industries, as well as virgin timber. The wood is compacted to create these easy to handle pellets that are burned on pellet stoves and boilers. They are a very efficient and a very cost effective type of fuel. Pellets are supplied in either bags or from a blown bulk delivery.

Wood chip – Wood chip is timber that has been shredded in a chipper. It has a low calorific value but is extremely cheap to buy. Wood chip is best suited to commercial installations as it needs a huge amount of space to be stored.

Where is Biomass suitable?

Biomass is suitable for near enough any property, old or new. A log or pellet boiler is ideal for any system due to its high output temperatures. Unlike heat pumps, a Biomass boiler can be set at exactly the same temperature as your current fossil fuelled system so you would never know the difference, except for the extra pounds in your bank account!

One slight downfall with a Biomass system is that you must have some available space for both the boiler and the fuel. Just be aware that an average boiler footprint is usually around 1 square metre and a small fuel store would be around the same. Just to clarify, a Biomass boiler would not be suitable for a flat or apartment!

How does a boiler receive fuel?

A Log boiler is fed by the owner or tenant of the heating system. Every 1-2 days  a batch of logs will need loading into the boiler to supply the hot water and central heating for the property.

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A Pellet boiler is very automated in its approach. Pellets can be poured into a small pellet store inside the boiler every 2-3 days by the user. Alternatively, boilers can can receive large amounts of pellets blown in from a lorry in bulk delivery form. A bulk delivery means that the user has no input in the day to day running of the boiler and it is completely automated. This method requires a large internal or external space to site a Pellet Hopper close to the boiler.

What type of boiler is best for me?

Pellet boilers are the most common type of installation due to there ease of use. Pellet boilers are relatively cost effective to buy and are most similar to your current fossil fuelled boilers.

Log boilers are most suited to people who have a good supply of locally sourced seasoned logs and have time to load there boiler each or every other day.

Where do I source my logs or pellets from?

In recent years the popularity of Biomass has rapidly grown so there are many companies operating in the UK that supply both high quality pellets and logs. Please see our Fuel Suppliers section of our website for a list of approved HETAS fuel suppliers.

How much will a Biomass boiler save me?

On average, changing from LPG or OIL to a pellet boiler, chip or log boiler will save you around 30% compared to your current fuel costs plus the large RHI payments for 7 or 20 years.