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Biomass is an alternative solid fuel to the conventional fossil fuels and has an impact on carbon emissions that is close to neutral or zero. Different types of biomass fuel are in use, the most common being the woody biomass, which includes forest residues such as tree thinning, and energy crops such as willow short rotation coppice.
For building applications, the fuel usually takes the form of wood chips, logs and pellets. Wood pellets are essentially compacted high-density/low moist wood. Supply and storage of the biomass fuel should be carefully considered especially for larger plants.
The typical applications are:
• Biomass boilers replacing standard gas- or oil-fired boilers for space heating and hot water
Appliances can achieve efficiencies of more that 80%. Sizes start at 3-5kW capacity for room heaters and 100+ kW or MW for industrial-scale plants and community energy schemes.
Applications of small-scale boilers and individual room heaters are increasing.
Biomass CHP plants are suitable for larger scale projects and appear viable at capacities above 0.5MW.
The main benefit of biomass technology is the significantly reduced level of carbon emissions owing to the fuel carrying zero (or very close to zero) carbon burden. Many biomass fuels transported for greater distances than 25 miles can also be regarded as carbon neutral because the alternative destination of the fuel is often land-fill where it would decompose to generate methane, which is significantly more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
Building space and organization to accommodate and operate the plant
As a replacement for domestic gas or oil boilers, biomass boilers will need to meet the total heating and hot water demand of the dwelling, so it should match the capacity of existing boiler.
Additional design issues that need to be addressed for biomass plants include:
Ventilation: Biomass appliances in principle require significant combustion air and can create a visible smoke discharge in some conditions.
Noise: Again for ventilation reasons, larger fans are installed on biomass boilers, which may result in increased noise levels. The fuel supply mechanism will also cause noise
Safety: Handling and feeding fuel into the burner should be undertaken with care.The risk of incomplete combustion is solved by a number of in-built mechanisms in most boilers,
Currently, there is a wide range of biomass systems on the market with specific characteristics and requirements. Installation should be carried out by a suitably qualified HETAS installer.
Future BY Energy
Future BY Energy Ltd is a professional energy assessor company with a rich understanding of the UK energy market. We offer independent professional expertise in mechanical engineering for all domestic and commercial buildings and strategic energy advice. As expert designers and specifiers of heating-cooling systems, we pride ourselves in finding affordable energy efficient solutions for new and existing buildings. We have top level experience in a wide range of building types in both commercial and domestic sectors.
As registered energy assessors we provide:
• Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
• SAP calculation and predicted energy assessment for new built dwellings (EPC-SAP/PartL)
• SBEM calculation for Commercial buildings (SBEM/Part L)
• Commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
• Display Energy Certificates for Public buildings (DEC)
• Air Conditioning Inspections (TM44)
• Asbestos surveys and consultancy
• Air permeability-Leakage test
• Sound test and acoustic consultancy
Please do not hesitate to contact, Behdad Yazdani, on 02081440820, who will be pleased to advise you.