Biomass Consultancy & Design Service

Larger commercial, new-build and refurbishment M&E projects are Designed, Specified and Installed directly by Wood Energy Ltd. For these projects, we provide a free biomass heating consultancy service. Projects would typically be of a large and complex nature up to 10MWs and would be supported by our own in-house specialist technical engineering team. We have a range of detailed CAD drawings that encompass layout, connectivity and controllability of the boiler/s, Accumulator Tanks, the flue, the pipework and, where appropriate, district heat connections and Building Management Systems.

Fuel options and availability

We supply boilers able to operate on diverse fuel types including; Virgin wood chip, wood pellet and logs as well as waste wood materials ranging from A grade, B/C grade as well as D grade. Which fuel is the most suitable for you will depend on various factors including local availability, delivery access, space available and project budget. Advising you on fuel suppliers and fuel types is part of the standard design process available from ourselves.

For small projects, typically sub-300kW, wood pellets are the most consistent and space efficient fuel as they are drier and have a much lower fluctuation in calorific value. However, if you have your own wood chip or a good local supply, and a large fuel storage capability, then wood chip could be the more cost-effective option. Log boilers are not for the faint-hearted and require a great deal of manual intervention, but often suit businesses where labour is already available such as Garden Centres, Small Hotels and Guest Houses.

Probably the single, most important fuel consideration is consistent quality. Systems can be designed much more scientifically when fuel is consistent – regardless of its moisture, size and grade. Fuel with a higher water content will reduce the efficiency of a boiler significantly if the boiler isn’t designed to handle that fuel type, and, if you ignore the guidelines provided, will potentially reduce its lifespan.

Fuel feed systems

Fuel is typically fed into a boiler by an extractor auger which uses either a rotary or hydraulic ram mechanism.
A wood pellet boiler can also be fed by a suction pipe. Depending upon boiler size, the suction system activates, typically, once every 24 hours for a few minutes at a time.

In a wood pellet boiler, the pellets pass into an internal hopper; they then drop onto a double rotary valve which meters them onto a feed auger which stokes the boiler. A wood chip boiler does not have an internal hopper. The extractor auger moves the fuel through a burn-back flap and a 3 stage burn back protection system into the boiler, from where it drops directly onto the feed auger.

Fuel storage

Suitable storage is integral to the success of any biomass heating project. You need to be able to store a sufficient quantity of fuel in a place that is easily accessible for deliveries. Keeping the fuel dry is critical for both the efficiency and longevity of the boiler and so it is important to consider the whole transfer process, from lorry to store and then on to feed the boiler. Combustible fuels always require consideration and, to avoid over-exposure to any build-up of naturally occurring gas, it is good practice to control access to the fuel store and ensure there is adequate ventilation.

Local Registered Installers

Ordinarily, smaller commercial and domestic projects under 200kW are installed through our Registered Installation Partners.

Registered Installation partners are located throughout the whole of the UK thereby offering a regional and local service. Each Registered Installation Partner has received specialist training from Wood Energy Ltd on Hargassner and Binder boilers and system design and possess a series of standard design layouts that Wood Energy Ltd has developed over many years. They also have access to our technical engineering department for complex design support where required ensuring that each project is comprehensively designed.