Wood Chip Boilers & Wood Pellet Boilers
Prepared wood chip is one of the cheapest fuels available and can be purchased in bulk to offer further savings.
Wood chip boilers are available in sizes ranging from 30kW up to 5MW and above. They can be used on large residential properties, multiple residential properties, schools, hospitals, farms and all kinds of businesses.
How Do Wood Chip Boilers Work?
Wood chip boilers burn wood chips to create heat. The chips are usually kept in a fuel store and fed into the boiler via an automated fuel delivery system, such as a trough and screw or agitator type. The wood chips are fed from the hopper to the boiler where they are ignited. The heat is then transferred from the combustion chamber to a heat exchanger, into the heating circuit and stored in a buffer tank.
Design and Installation Considerations
Wood chip boilers are ideally suited to properties with heat demands of 50kW and above. This is because of the space required for boiler and fuel store. Chip can only be bought in bulk and deliveries are usually from a tipper type wagon so access must be considered. So with plant room, fuel store and fuel deliveries all on the large side it isn’t really suitable for your average domestic property.
The Renewable Heat Incentive for Biomass
The Renewable Heat Incentive is a government scheme which offers owners of certain renewable energy systems payments for generating renewable heat. Wood chip biomass boilers qualify for the scheme for both domestic and commercial installations. The RHI scheme follows a different framework depending on whether the installation is domestic or commercial.
Pros & Cons
Wood chip boilers are a great heating solution where there is space for decent size fuel store and plant room.
Wood chips themselves are considerably cheaper than pellets which is an obvious benefit.
The systems are generally automated and will operate until the fuel runs out. Even fuel deliveries can be automated so that when chip gets to a certain level a sensor will send a message to a fuel delivery company.
Wood chips can require more managing than wood pellets. Depending on fuel store design and fuel delivery method fuel deliveries may need supervising and managing.
They are not suited to average size domestic properties due to fuel deliveries and plant size.
Due to the nature of the fuel the chips can cause occasional breakdowns of the boiler. This is mainly due to a rogue large chip making it into the fuel and being too big for the boiler fuel delivery system.
For more information on wood chip biomass boilers please contact one of the biomass team.