a sustainable biomass fuel
Pellet boilers come in the widest range of sizes from very small domestic boilers rated at 7kW to large industrial units of 1MW and more. Wood pellets are made from 100% virgin timber that has been ground up, dried and then compressed into a uniform fuel that is easily transported and is very energy-dense. It is the most convenient of the biomass fuels and generally does not require the boiler operator to do any fuel handling at all.
Benefits of Pellet Boilers
Pellet boilers tend to offer the greatest flexibility in layout since the fuel can be stored up to 20m away from the boiler and is connected only by a pair of hoses along which it is blown. Similarly, deliveries are blown and the delivery vehicle can be up to 20m from the fuel store. Unless bagged pellets are used, normally only at the small domestic scale, there should be no requirement for operators to undertake any fuel handling. As wood pellets are the most energy-dense of the normal biomass fuels, more energy can be stored in a given size of fuel store resulting in reduced delivery frequency or smaller store footprint.
Drawbacks of Pellet Boilers
As a more processed fuel with a fairly complex supply chain, wood pellets tend to be the most expensive of the ‘standard’ biomass fuels although costs can be kept down by optimising the design of the pellet store etc. They also have a slightly higher carbon footprint than wood chips or logs although it is still under 10% of that of heating oil producing the same amount of heat.
Types of Fuel Deliveries
Most pellet deliveries are made by way of a dedicated ‘tanker’ lorry which blows the pellets into a bulk store. It is also possible to buy 20kg bags of wood pellets which can be manually loaded into a boiler and these can be purchased by the pallet load.
Most pellet suppliers have a range of vehicles but, as a minimum, there should be space for an 8 wheel rigid body vehicle to park adjacent to the fuel store without obstructing access or the highway. It is strongly recommended that you check with local suppliers prior to committing to a pellet installation to ensure that deliveries will be practical.
Pellet Boilers are Suited For:
Most domestic and commercial applications but particularly where space is at a premium and/or where the operator of the system wishes to undertake minimal work to keep it running.