Biomass boilers that burn biomass such as logs, wood shavings or pellets, sawdust and other combustible products such as dry garbage, garden and home waste or any matter derived from biological sources to produce alternate heating solutions is a viable renewable energy solution that protects the environment, increases heating efficiency and reduces fuel bills, whether for domestic or commercial consumption.
Since they emit the same amount of carbon dioxide that plants absorb for nutrition, these emissions are almost negligible and hence are known as carbon-neutral energy sources since it does not adversely impact earth’s delicate carbon dioxide balance.
In areas that are off main gas or in rural areas where biomass availability is more, this is extremely cost-effective and efficient sources of energy as compared to fossil fuels like oil or coal and Liquid Propane Gas or LPG.
Besides, biomass boilers also provide the following benefits:
- They are less volatile and cleaner without the presence of soot and other particle matters that get absorbed in the environment
- They are independent of fluctuating market prices of oil and gas
- They provide opportunities for government grants provided eligibility criteria are met
The presence of moisture or water content in biomass such as woodchip which is used for energy production can significantly alter and affect the performance of the system.
Hence there is the need to use methods and modern equipment for woodchip drying; such methods range from simple, passive drying techniques using hot airflow to encourage moisture evaporation to more active and advanced methodologies which are energy-intensive.
Moisture content in woodfuel is seen as a universal problem because it affects the biomass renewable heat energy process in the following ways:
- Latent heat loss that affects efficiency
- The vapor from the moisture content can carry ultra fine particle content
- Emissions from burning moist woodchip can be far higher than dry woodchip
Producers of woodchips are realizing that in today’s emerging need for renewable energy, drier fuel are seen as the need of the hour since they have more value.
What is District heating?
District Heating is the system which comprises a network of insulated pipes connecting a generation point to end-users; these pipes deliver heat in the form of steam or hot water and enable heat to be transferred efficiently.
The pipe network can stretch up to hundreds of kilometers through distribution networks that are sufficient enough to distribute heat to communities, colonies and areas within cities and industrial areas.
By providing more ‘heat sources’ which are primarily providers of heat along the network, distances within a network can be easily extended.
This way, a district heating heat network curtails loss of valuable energy which is very often wasted in industrial processes.
The harnessing of such heat negates the need for generating additional energy as it enables large-scale production of heat in one plant which is far more economical than production of heat in multiple smaller plants.
District Heating networks can also make use of heat supply from many sources like:
- Biomass and biogas fuelled boilers
- Electric boilers
- Solar thermal arrays
- Power stations
- Industrial processes
- Heat pumps and many more.