Biomass boiler is the particular apparatus that is used for providing heat by burning the wood and heating the water. The process involved in it is known as biomass heating. Three types of wood fuels, namely; pellets, logs and chips are involved in these boilers.
Logs – These are the pieces of wood that have been dried out for many years. This is the cheapest option. Those with land and availability of free firewood may find logs to be the best available pieces of wood.
Pellets – Made from the by-products of wood manufacturing these wooden pieces are much dry and dense. Burning of such pieces is quite easy and less space is required to store them.
Chips – Generally available from forest or saw mills, these chips suit for heating larger areas of space. These are used for community heating schemes or for commercial premises.
Different types of biomass boilers – Following are the different systems that are in use as far as these boilers are concerned:
- Fully automated systems – These systems involve delivery trucks that drop off the ground up or chipped waste wood with a live bottom floor. Series of augers and conveyors help in moving the wood fuel to the boilers. Use of laser eye and computer controls is made to measure the fuel amount. The augers and conveyors are operated in automatic manners for maintaining the wood fuel for sustaining the pressure and temperature in the boiler. No boiler operator is required to handle the process.
- Semi automated or surge bin system – Extra manpower is required in this system. Base heat load for many buildings can be handled in feasible manners with such system. With a smaller storage bin and simpler fuel conveyance system such a system helps in meeting less than the full heat load.
- Pellet-fired system: More condensed and uniform in shape; pellets are the best processed fuel. Much expensive, these wooden pieces are more suitable and require less space for storage. These types of boilers involve the conveyance system that is quite easy and less costly as compared to the surge bin system. With the grain-type of storage silo, the fuel is moved to the boiler with the use of gravity. Such a system requires less space that is useful as far as construction costs are required. Quite suitable for wide range of facility sizes; these systems are quite popular.
- Combined heat and power (CHP) – This system of biomass boilers involves wood waste for generating power. It involves use of heat that is created as a byproduct. Quite costly, such a system needs a qualified and experienced operator. It requires more fuel that enlarges the travel radius to great extent. As said earlier this system is quite costly. CHP applications are usually popular with prisons or hospitals that need energy in continuous manners.
Biomass boilers are useful for heating the residential and commercial buildings. Prisons, hospitals, banks and other corporate houses are also benefited in a big way with these boilers that are in great demand.