For those unfamiliar with the term biomass, it is an alternative fuel source that utilizes organic materials made into pellets that is used as a fuel source. It has been found to generate heat equivalent to other forms of fuel, yet results in lower emissions and residues. Today, one more piece of equipment has been added to an already broad array of products in the form of Biomass Boilers.
As the cost of fossil fuels continues to increase, the need for low cost alternatives is ever-increasing. Although the heating industry has been dominated for the past five decades by gas, oil, and electric models, the growing trend for "green" alternatives is boosting sales in the biomass business providing many with a new view of options available on the market today.
Although many forms of this kind of fuel are available, today's boilers generally utilize wood pellets collected from manufacturing enterprises that generate residue and cast-offs in the form of sawdust as well as wood scraps. These are preferred since they require less maintenance. Although originally manufacturers were pleased to have anyone haul off their cast-offs, today they have realized the value of this commodity and now charge for it.
Today's boilers come in various types, sizes, and compositions. Although most are made for residential use, there are a growing number of designs available for commercial use. Constructed for use both inside and outside the structure, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Since they require a hopper to hold the pellets as well as a storage bin for supplies, most prefer outdoor models for their convenience.
The open systems available in most designs allow them to be made to accommodate a variety of needs making it safer than pressurized systems. Although they can rust, corrode, and develop mineral deposits, the lower costs and emissions can make up for any disadvantage they may have.
In order to help change the mindset of those who want to go "green, " but continue to have reservations, hybrid systems are also being manufactured that provide flexibility as well as reliability. They burn biomass fuels, just like other systems, but also fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and propane. In this way, if the hopper is not refilled, an order for pellets that arrives late, or an emergency situation occurs which results in the failure of traditional fuels, the system can continue to feed off the back up system ensuring that the boiler continues to function as designed.
One need not worry about refilling the hopper during severe weather as fully automated operating systems are also available. With this addition, storage bins can be connected to conveyor belts and traveling stokers in order to provide a fully-automated or semi-automated system used in conjunction with heating, water, and radiant floor boiler systems. This also provides an added convenience for those who are older as well.
Biomass boilers today have taken heating systems to a whole new level. It has many advantages over traditional systems and, for those who choose to go "green", it is considered a renewable energy source. The fuels have a tendency to be less expensive, but they do generate smoke and, therefore, should be reviewed by the local planning committee in each community before a final decision is made.