Heat only boilers with capacities up to 1MW are available "off the shelf" from a number of manufacturers based throughout Europe. The most commonly used boilers are in the range of 100kW to 600kW although domestic sized boilers are available for smaller commercial applications. Typical applications include:
- Leisure Centres
Selecting the right capacity for the boiler is very important if its operation is to be economical and trouble-free. If wood heating is to replace a system, the previous fuel consumption is the best basis for calculating the future requirements and the heat load. When replacing an existing heating system, it is strongly advised to consider improving the building's insulation as the new system could then be designed to the lower requirements following renovation. If a system is installed in a new building, an accurate calculation of the heat load is highly recommended.
It often makes sense to use the biomass boiler as a base load system by under sizing the boilers and using a fossil fuel boiler as a peak load / backup system. In this way it is normally possible to provide 90%-95% of annual heat demand using a much smaller biomass boiler thus reducing capital investment costs considerably and reducing economic payback.
Fuel supply infrastructures have developed considerably in recent years. Pellets are available nationwide through Balcas based in Northern Ireland and a number of importers. Wood chips are often available locally and equipment suppliers are often able to offer a wood chip supply contract if required ensuring security of supply.