In these times when energy costs suppose an important percentage of our monthly bills it’s vital to choose which system we are going to use for hot water and heating in our home or business and what alternative options we have. One of the possibilities we have in order to reduce energy costs, in addition to cooperate with the environment, is the Biomass boiler.
Biomass boilers are those which use fuel proceeding from renewable sources in order to function, which in turn earns them the fame of being the cleanest on the market. Wood pellets, coming from forest residue or the waste from the timber industries, olive pits, nutshells, firewood, etc are the sources of natural energy used by the Biomass boilers.
The bio-fuel off which the Biomass boilers feed is more economical than the traditional fuels (gasoil, propane, etc… ) their prices being also more stable over the years, as they do not depend on the prices fixed by other countries nor by fluctuation in rates of exchange.
Their high calorific power for unit of weight (reaching 4.200 kcal/kg) makes bio-fuel a rentable and renewable form of energy and give the Biomass boiler a calorific output of almost 100%.
Let’s make a comparison with a fossil fuel. One kilo of pellets has half the combustible power of a litre of gasoil, which means that 2 kilos of pellets or olive pits are necessary to produce the same energy as one litre of gasoil. One m3 of pellets weigh approx. 650 kg. In this way, if in one year we consume 2.000 litres of gasoil, we would need 4.000 kg of pellets or olive pits, which would take up 6 m3. All we have to do now is study the prices of one or other fuel source to begin to recognize the first benefit of Biomass boilers: a drastic reduction in energy costs of your home.
Now choose your boiler according to the fuel you wish to use:
Pellet boilers: they only use a fluid type of fuel, like pellets or olive pits, which are introduced into the boiler via suction or continuous screw rotation. These are the most popular for domestic use.
Poly-combustible boilers: they can use all kinds of ground bio-fuel, but need a larger fuel deposit. These are larger and more powerful.
A Biomass boiler works on a similar basis to a gas one. The fuel burner burns the pellet with which it is fed, thus generating a horizontal flame which enters the boiler, in a similar way to a gasoil one. The heat which is generated during the combustion is transmitted to the water circuit in the heat exchanger inside the boiler. The resulting hot water is used for heating and domestic use, heating swimming pools, etc…The use of these boilers does not interfere with heating systems such as under-floor or radiators…
Biomass boilers need a container for storage of the bio-fuel, to be localised near the boiler. From this, a continuous or suction screw feeder takes it to the boiler where combustion takes place. Pellet fuel must be at an angle or 45º for the correct feed into the boiler.
When Biomass burns, it produces a small amount of ash (less than 1%) which is usually collected automatically in a tray which should be emptied about 4 times a year.
In order to optimize the function of the Biomass boiler, we can install an accumulator, which stores the heat in a similar fashion to that of solar powe
If we mentioned before the cost of fuel as one of the great benefits of the installation of Biomass boilers, it’s not the only advantage: it is also a clean and safe energy.