Biomass

Turn wood into heat

Biomass boilers are like traditional boilers, providing heat by turning it into hot water or steam. They are a cost-effective solution for businesses and industrial premises that require large amounts of heat and hot water such as hotels, manufacturers, schools, colleges, care homes and hospitals.

The boilers are available in a range of sizes and are suitable for domestic properties up to large scale, industrial units. We specialise in commercial boilers for industrial applications, from 100 kW in size upwards.

What is biomass?

Biomass is a renewable, organic material such as wood and plant waste. The boilers that we install typically run on wood pellets and wood chip.

Wood chips or wood pellets?

Wood chip tends to be manufactured from virgin timber. It needs to be a certain size and moisture content to ensure that the boilers work to the best of their efficiencies. Recycled wood, such as pallets, can be used as biomass as long as it meets stringent criteria and that the boiler has the correct environmental permits.

Wood pellets are manufactured from compacted sawdust which is compressed under heat and pressure to form a cylindrical shape. As they have a higher energy content per tonne than wood chip, a smaller volume will generate the same heat output as wood chip. Pellets tend to be easier to transport and store than wood chip but are more expensive per tonne.

With pros and cons for chip verses pellets, the choice very much depends on which is the most suitable for your business needs. We provide boilers for either solution and are happy to advise on suitability accordingly.

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?

Most biomass boilers qualify for the government RHI subsidy due to being a renewable fuel source. The government pays for each unit of heat that that you use at a set rate which is index linked for 20 years. The more heat that you use, the higher the annual payment you will receive.

With the RHI income and savings made in comparison to purchasing fossil fuel energy, a correctly sized biomass boiler can provide a quick payback of around 2-4 years

Why is biomass considered renewable?

Only biomass fuel purchased from the government's biomass suppliers list ensures that a boiler qualifies for RHI payments. Biomass purchased from these suppliers ensures that for each tree harvested, another is replanted in its place. Replanting recaptures the same amount of carbon released by the combustion process. It is this release and recapture of carbon that ensures that the process is net zero carbon.

Alternatively, the wood must be a genuine waste material that is unsuitable for recycling.

Is my business suitable for a biomass boiler?

If you currently use oil or gas for heating, hot water or heat for industrial processes then you could benefit from biomass heat.

Are there any other benefits?

Yes. An increasing number of suppliers and manufacturers are being asked to improve their green credentials. Generating renewable heat can form a significant part of your corporate and social responsibility strategy. Fossil fuels are being taxed at an even greater rate due to the addition of the climate change levy (CCL) to heat and electricity bills. Heat generated by biomass is exempt from the CCL.