What is Biomass Heating?
- Biomass (Wood) fuelled heating systems burn wood pellets, wood chips or logs to power central heating and hot water boilers.
- There is little difference in operation between a biomass boiler and a gas boiler. They turn themselves on and off, they control their output temperature, are self cleaning and refuel themselves.
- Some boilers have the additional feature of being controllable via the internet, or by a simple text message.
Benefits to Biomass Boilers:
- Security and energy supply – using wood for heating reduces our reliance on imported fossil fuels
- It is carbon neutral! The burning wood releases some CO2, but it is the same amount that was absorbed when the wood was growing.
- Maximises the value to the UK's resources – using British logs or pellets adds value to Britain’s forest resource and supports economic development.
- Highly reliable European manufactured appliances that are as efficient as possible.
- A good use for available wood. If wood is available from e.g. onsite woodland, this can be used to fuel the system, making significant cost savings, and preventing waste.d t
Get paid an income for installing a biomass appliance into your businessa Biomass System.
It is possible to be paid an income for installing biomass in your business and property. The Renewable Heat Incentive is a grant paid annually to commercial businesses who install and operate a heat production method approved under the Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS), such as a biomass boiler . The payment is calculated on an agreed value for the amount of heat generated and varies depending on the type of equipment used.
For instance, biomass will attract a payment of 8.6p per kilowatt hour of heat generated, and will be paid for 20 years. Added to the savings in fuel cost per kilowatt hour between currently popular fuels and biomass fuels, the grants could pay off the capital cost of the equipment in as little as five years, and for the next ten years the savings are pure benefit.
More Frequently Asked Questions
Our biomass graduate Melissa, answers your frequently asked questions!
How often do I have to fill up a biomass boiler?
If you have a pellet boiler, you may need to fill the hopper up daily or weekly, using delivered 10kg bags of wood pellets. With a log gasification boiler, the appliance will need to be filled with logs each day. With an automated pellet boiler, there is no need to self fill the hopper, as the pellets are automatically dropped into the appliance when required. The hopper will be filled by bulk delivery, by blowing them into your silo or hopper. One bulk delivery will on average be 4 tonnes.
Are the boilers noisy or very smoky?
The boilers produce a slight noise when the auger drops the pellets into the combustion chamber. This is like a quiet mechanical whirr which happens every 30 seconds until the chamber is full. Compared to an oil boiler, the pellet boilers are much quieter.
There will be no smoke produced from the boiler when the door is closed, and when opened, the smoke is sucked up the flue. The biomass boiler smells of wood, as you would expect!
How much on average does installing a domestic wood heating system cost?
For a domestic pellet boiler, including installation and the appliance, the total cost would be approximately £7000. For a log gasification boiler, including a hot water accumulator, the price would be nearer £13,000.
Where can I buy wood pellets?
We have a number of approved suppliers of wood pellets in Northumberland and the North East. A tonne of wood pellets currently costs around £180.00 plus VAT for loose deliveries, blown into your hopper, or around £220 per tonne delivered in sacks on a pallet.
Can I use my own wood chip or logs?
Yes, although the moisture content and the size of the wood chips needs to be correct for your boiler. The Centre for Green Energy will advise you on the best supplier and grade of chips for your appliance. However, for a log gasification boiler you can use your own wood supply, as long as the logs are cut to the correct length and dry.
Where will you install the pellet room heater or boiler?
A pellet room heater is about the same size as a wood burning stove, and designed to be displayed in your living room or other reception rooms. For a boiler, many customers prefer them to be sited in garages, weather resistant sheds or large utility rooms. The installation will include the boiler, perhaps a hot water accumulator and the hopper, which will be bigger than your average domestic oil or gas boiler. The hopper however, does not need to be in the same room as the boiler.