Commercial biomass boilers
Things to consider
There are many things to consider when you are looking to install a commercial biomass boiler. By far the most important thing is to do your homework on the installer. Most of the boilers that are sold in the UK have been around for some time or are imported from the continent where they have been established for over 30 years and work very well.
Out of the 20 or so types of boiler I have come across (Ether as an installer or as a design engineer called out to a system that doesn’t work very well) I would say that 95% of the faults that I come across are due to incorrectly sized/designed systems.
Systems have various fault from an incorrectly designed fuel store that cannot take the required delivery or requires a large amount of manual intervention, to over/undersized boilers, pipe work and pumps.
The vast majority of issues arise when the installer of domestic type installations step in the world of commercial or industrial installations.
We have found that generally they do not have the in-house design/CAD engineers to correctly calculate all of the requirements that a large scale commercial system requires, for example the hydraulic flow rate required, pipe and pump sizing, flue dispersion models and heat demand profiles, as well as the system controls and philosophy.
I would say it is imperative to contact the clients of installations that they have completed to gain an understanding of how well the project is functioning and to see if the scale of the system that has been installed, is a similar size or greater to the one proposed at your site.
Other major stumbling blocks that are common revolve around the type of fuel you are proposing to use.
We have installed or been involved in commercial biomass boilers that are burning horse manure, wood waste, wood dust, wood chip, grain and pellet.
There are major differences in characteristics and the calorific value of all of these fuels, as well as differing regulations regarding the emission values. So again, ensure that the installer has sufficient knowledge of this type of fuel regardless of the type of installer they are (Domestic, Commercial, or Industrial).