Feeding your biomass boiler – hand-fed or hopper-fed?

When considering the feasibility of biomass, whether to opt for a manual, hand-fed, wood pellet biomass boiler or one fed via an external hopper, is usually pretty high up on our clients’ decision making lists. Some clients have clear ideas about what they’d like and others are not so sure.

Here at Wessex Biomass, we are happy to accommodate whatever you have in mind and budget; we recently designed a bespoke hopper solution for a client, in the eaves of his garage, utilising otherwise lost and unused space.

Bag fed units have an internal hopper which generally holds about 2.5 bags (roughly a day’s worth of pellets during cold winter months). We have one of these at home and I put in 2 bags a day during winter months and one bag every other day during the summer, when the boiler is only used for heating water.

Of our clients who opted for an external hopper-fed biomass boiler, some have hoppers which hold a few month’s worth of wood pellets and others hold several tonnes worth, only needing to be filled a couple of times per year. The choice is yours and will depend upon your budget, the level of interaction you desire with your boiler (if you are used to a wood-burner then filling a biomass boiler once a day, with a small bag of pellets is no trouble) and the amount of space that you have available. Give us a call to discuss – we are always happy to talk biomass!

Cheeky canines love biomass living flame boiler

It is very cold outside, cold and wet and our dogs do not like this. However, they are closer to our biomass boiler than Building Regs dictate and so I have to keep moving them whenever I come into the Utility Room,(at least Molly has the decency to look chastised and the Bassett won’t even make eye contact). Once my back is turned, they are back there again, short of locking them out, I am powerless in the face of the goddess of heat that is Sandy our biomass

Dogs in front of our biomass boiler

Our dogs all toastie in front of our living flame biomass boiler

boiler. So beware, once you have one of these toastie living flame biomass boilers installed, you may have to fight to get near it or, in my case, fall over dogs every time I need to fill it with pellets!

Lets talk flues

We have been asked a lot about flues this week.

A biomass appliance needs a flue, much like a wood burning stove does. The flue comes off the back of the appliance, so realistically where it can go relies a lot on where the biomass appliance is going to be situated.

Flue options, lots of choices

Flue examples

Building Regulations dictate that flues must be 4.5 metres but the situation of the flue is one of the many things we discuss with clients, when looking at feasibility. A flue can go into an existing chimney, be hidden by a roof line, powder coated to any colour you desire or left as it comes; stainless steel and shiny, the choice is yours.

Very chilly and weather forecast for colder to come

biomass wood pellet living flame boilerIt was so cold on site in Bradford-on-Avon this morning, I did not envy our team on flue duty up a scaffold and was very pleased to get back to the office for a cuppa in front of a warm and toasty biomass boiler!

Domestic RHI

We are receiving some great feedback from our clients regarding their domestic RHI applications; our current record is Alan Moore, whose application was agreed in 10 seconds -  he is looking forward to his first payment from the government any day now. Our personal application (for our 22kw MCZ Musa in our house) has been agreed and we are expecting our first payment on Christmas Day!



The availablity of Biomass Wood Pellet fuel

Top of the list of concerns and queries at pretty much every client sales visit, has always been the availability and security of supply, of biomass wood pellet fuel. This is a valid issue, as clients need to be assured that when they invest in biomass they will be supported, not least by the long term availablity of consumables.

So, it is particularly gratifying to see that wood pellet fuel is becoming increasingly accessible. The Verdo site in Andover (which I look forward to visiting very soon, to see the operation for myself) will produce 55,000 tonnes annually, Plumb Centre now supply Brites fuel at 500 of their branches nationwide and, of course, you can now purchase fuel online via our website. This now means that the supply of wood pellets will not be as hit and miss as it originally was, which is great news for everyone involved in the industry!