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How do biomass boilers work? Watch our video

Watch our video of a real customer’s biomass boiler installation and learn about the benefits of biomass.

Video transcript

We are all very much aware of the rising costs of heating our home, and nowhere is this more of an issue than those areas that don’t have access to the main gas grid – where costly oil, LPG and coal are heavily relied upon. However, thanks to government support there are now financially viable alternatives to those high bills through the use of renewable energy.

This video looks at an installation of a modern high-tech biomass boiler in a rural property. It is a great example of how the owners, who didn’t want to maintain the old and inefficient coal boiler, chose renewable energy as a viable alternative. It also explains the types of properties that best suit biomass and how you can benefit from Government initiatives.

As soon as we understood that the Renewable Heat Incentive would pay us back an amount of money that paid for the whole system within about six or seven years, it seemed as if this was a phenomenal improvement in our heating and hot water at no real cost to us.’ Biomass customer Mr. Williams

How does biomass work?

wood pellets for biomass boilersBiomass boilers are a very well established technology, particularly in Austria and Scandinavia. Although they are less common in the UK this is about to change because of the Domestic Renewable Heat incentive.

Biomass boilers are designed to replace your existing boiler. They provide all the hot water and heating for your home. Biomass boilers are particularly suited to homes which are poorly insulated or difficult to insulate.

Biomass boilers can burn wood chip, log, or wood pellets. Wood pellets are normally recommended for homes because they are clean, take up the least amount of space and the boilers that burn them are fully automatic.

Woodchip is usually suggested for larger biomass systems where the heat demand is very high and you need large volumes of fuel. Log boilers are for those that have the time and energy to load their boilers every day, light them and clean them out and usually where there is a free source of firewood as well.

Is your property right for biomass?

Of course biomass boilers take up a little more space than any other boilers. There is the need for the fuel store, these can differ in size, but an example is a store of two metres square and two metres high – that amount of fuel will keep them going for a good few months.

In some cases there is need for a buffer tank as well. The buffer tank stores the hot water before it is distributed throughout the house by the radiator system or underfloor heating.

For a family home, a biomass boiler that not only feeds the heating for the house but also provides hot water directly into the property is ideal. With this type there is no need for a hot water cylinder as it works very similarly to a combi boiler.

Biomass boilers can fit into a smaller space but the greater savings can be had when you have a larger store, by making savings on bulk buying and minimizing the cost of fuel and the delivery charges.

Biomass fuelFueling a Biomass boiler

Wood pellets are highly compressed sawdust and other wood particles, from sustainable sources generally as a by-product of timber saw mills in the UK. They are made to a high standard, so there is consistency in size and moisture content. This is essential to ensure the boilers burn efficiently. Pellets can be delivered by a lorry or delivered in bags.

Boiler upkeep

Biomass boiler and buffer tank installedOur Biomass boilers do not need a lot of ongoing attention. Of course there is annual servicing of the boiler, cleaning the flue as you would with any kind of boiler and there is making sure you keep the fuel store topped up. Biomass boilers do not generate very much ash as the design is intended that the pellets will burn almost completely, a very fine ash is produced and there is an ash tray at the bottom of the boiler that needs emptying every three to four weeks.

Our customers can rest assured that the boilers we install, manufactured by Effecta, ETA or Froling will last into the long term, and as a result save them money and provide them with an excellent return on their investment.

Satisfied customers

Mr. Williams purchased an off-grid two hundred year old farmhouse. ‘We looked at a number of renewable technologies, and talked to a number of different people and the one that came through as being the most successful was actually the one that was heating my son’s school.’ Said Mr. Williams. The School was using Biomass, and recommended EnergyMyWay.

After discussing their options with us at EnergyMyWay, the Williams’ decided to go ahead with the installation. Mr. Williams could see how much sense biomass made for them ‘as soon as we understood that the Renewable Heat Incentive would pay us back an amount of money that paid for the whole system within about six or seven years, it seemed as if this was a phenomenal improvement in our heating and hot water at no real cost to us.’

‘We have been very impressed with EnergyMyWay, It has been a very smooth process, we’ve never had to chase anybody up, it really has been one port of call for the lot – we discussed with Richard and everything has happened around us, it’s been smooth sailing from the beginning.’ Mr. Williams

Now this installation is complete the Williams family can start to benefit from the Governments Renewable Heat Incentive that will more than pay back the cost of the installation. In addition to that they’ll have cheaper fuel bills and contribute to reducing green house gases – altogether making biomass an excellent alternative for them.

So if you would like to see how your home might benefit from having a biomass boiler or other forms of renewable energy then please contact us on 0845 371 3181 and find out how EnergyMyWay can help you.

By: Louisa Stockley