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Biomass Boilers
Biomass boilers use plant and animal material (derived originally from solar energy) to provide heat. Wood - in the form of logs, chips and pellets (compressed sawdust) - can be used to provide heating and hot water in domestic and commercial systems.

Modern wood-fulled boilers burn very efficiently (80-90%) and are controlled through thermostats and timers with automatic fuel-feed, making them almost as convenient as a fossil fired boiler system. Log and pellet boilers can provide all the space heating and hot water requirements of a domestic house; wood chip boilers are cost-effective for higher heat loads such as a large farmhouse with farm offices or a school.

The moisture content of the wood supply dictates the amount needed as well as the boiler used. Wetter fuel such as tree surgery chippings will require a moving grate type of boiler, whilst a fixed hearth can be used with air or kiln dried wood. The moving grate is more expensive but this is offset by the cheaper fuel used.

As wood has a lower energy content than fossil fuels, you need more of it to provide the same amount of heat. Depending on moisture content, this could be from 7m3 of pellets to 21-35m3 of wood chip, so it's vital to have sufficient space to accommodate bulk deliveries of wood fuel. When considering a biomass boiler, you'll also need to bear in mind that the space needed for the boiler and fuel hopper is around double that required by an oil boiler. Automated log boilers do not need a hopper but may necessitate a large hot water store of around 100 litres sited near the boiler. All biomass systems require a flue. 

Biomass systems require yearly cleaning of the burner, which is generally taken care of as part of a maintenance contract with the fuel supplier or boiler manufacturer. You'll also need to empty the ash pan now and then. This could be as often as weekly for large boilers, so a biomass system is more hands-on for the end user than other renewable technologies. 

If you're thinking about a biomass boiler installation, whether you just want advice or would like to get a quote, then contact Darren today on 07782 472 573 or email us at


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