An Introduction to Biomass
Biomass Boiler Solutions
Biomass boilers provide a total solution for heating and hot water for domestic and commercial applications.
We are MCS and Green Deal accredited installers offering bespoke solutions for all types of properties: Retro-fitted to integrate into your existing internal heating and plumbing structure or for new-builds.
- Qualified advice and FREE site survey, assessment & system proposals
- Bespoke Boiler & Fuel Storage solutions
- Firm Quotation and Programmed Installation contracts
- Project Management & Quality Assured Installation
- Testing & Commissioning of systems by our own qualified engineers
- Long-Term Fuel & Maintenance agreements
- Remote Fuel & Service monitoring (via Internet)
- FREE or Deferred Ownership for Commercial Projects
- Compliance & Registration services
- OFGEM, RHI & RHPP applications
What Millside do
- FREE Expert Advice & Technical Support
- Quotations, Product Comparisons & Outlay/Return Analysis
- Domestic & Non-Domestic RHI Applications
- Green Deal Home Improvement Fund Applications
- Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) & Planning Applications
- Pre-Installation compliance advice, EPC’s & GDAR’s
- Accredited Installation & Commissioning
- Planned Maintenance & Monitoring
What Millside install and supply
- Biomass Commercial
- Biomass Domestic
- Solar Photovoltaics Commercial
- Solar Photovoltaics Domestic
- Heat Pumps – Air & Ground Source
- Solar Thermal & Thermodynamics
- Traditional Heat & Power Solutions & Integration
- Distributors & Installers to the Trade
What is Biomass?
Biomass is essentially biological material that is derived from living, or recently living organisms. In fuel terms, biomass is plant matter that can be burned and converted into heat. For the UK domestic market, the main raw material for biomass fuel is wood, this is sourced from UK forests as well as imported from continental Europe. In addition to wood derived fuels there are other materials used for fuels both on a domestic and industrial scale, these include grasses like miscanthus, corn husk, and waste materials from oil seed rape production. There are a number of different wood/biomass fuels available:
Currently the most common form of biomass fuel available. Available in a wide range of lengths and diameters to suit individual appliances. For most domestic installations the logs are 200-300mm long and 50-150mm diameter. Logs are generally available from a wide range of suppliers, and are sourced from hard and soft woods, or a mixture of the two. Generally speaking, hardwoods are considered to burn better than softwoods, because of their density, but also the moisture content of the either wood type will also determine it’s energy content.
Wood briquettes are constituted fuel made from waste materials from sawmills and other processing plants. The wastes are crushed and dried before being fed into an extrusion press which produces a roughly cylindrical briquette usually 50-75mm in diameter in astream, these are then cooled, then cut to form briquettes ususally 200-300mm long, then packed into plastic bags containing approx 10kg of briquettes.
Wood chips are small pieces of wood that have been part-seasoned to reduce their moisture content. They contain more moisture than wood pellets and need a much greater storage area than pellets. But the equipment to process wood chips is cheaper and so there is a lower unit energy cost.
Wood pellets are a homogenised form of wood fuel produced from by-products of saw-mills and other wood processing plants under a quality-controlled scheme. A pellet press forces the saw-dust through a die under pressure and the natural resins and lignin in the wood act as a glue to hold the pellets together. The UK market is relatively new to this process, though developing rapidy, and much of the pellet fuel burned in the UK is now indigenous.
Pellets are harder and denser than wood chips and have a higher energy density. The small regular shape helps to regulate the fuel delivery from plant to store, and from there to the burner. Due to the lower moisture content, and the uniform size, pellets are less prone to clogging and fungal growth than wood chips. Stored pellets must be kept dry to avoid them absorbing moisture, swelling and clogging burners, which cause damage.
The advantages of the use of pellets are:
- less volume to transport and store
- consistent in size and moisture content
- versatile – they can be used in stoves and boilers
- less ash and emissions
- can be stored without degradation (provided they are kept dry)