In most cases, biomass can be integrated into an existing heating and hot water system, so can be an attractive alternative form of heating for those with a reliable wood supply, reasonable storage space and/or delivery access.
Also, because the CO2 absorbed by the trees when they are growing is approximately the same as the CO2 released when burnt, they are considered to be ‘low carbon’ choice.
Some forms of biomass, such as wood pellets, use material grown especially for the purpose, making them sustainable.
There are two main types of biomass heating appliances; –
Stoves: These burn logs or pellets to provide heating for individual rooms. Stoves can also be fitted with a back boiler to provide hot water for the house. Stoves are commonly rated around 7kW and have an efficiency of between 60-80%.
Boilers: Larger and more industrial in design, these provide heating and hot water for the entire property. Domestic log boilers range from 20-50kW and are stoked by hand. Smaller pellet boilers range from 8-30kW and can incorporate a pellet hopper, which automatically feeds the boiler with fuel from a store.