Biomass Boilers

GPG-014, June 2014

Biomass boiler systems that burn solid wood fuel instead of oil are an efficient alternative for hot-water heated facilities where natural gas is unavailable. GSA’s GPG program found biomass boilers to be most cost-effective for buildings in cold northern climates within 50 miles of a wood pellet mill. Click on the infographic below to enlarge.

GPG Findings 014, June 2014, Wood-Pellet-Fired Biomass Boilers. Opportunity: What are the benefits to using Biomass Boilers? Drive use of locally sourced renewable energy. Take advantage of waste wood. Pine-beetle infestation has killed 17.7 million acres of U.S. Forest. Technology: How do Biomass Boilers work? Power hot-water-heating systems with solid wood fuel. 85% to 90% efficiency rating. Measurement and Verification: Where did M and V occur? National Renewable Energy Laboratory evaluated efficiency cost-effectiveness, and operational functionality of a 1-million BTU biomass boiler at the Federal Building in Ketchikan, Alaska. Results: How did Biomass Boilers perform in the M and V? 85.6% boiler efficiency at 45% partial load; increased load will increase efficiency. High functionality, low Operation and Maintenance costs. Less than 5 years payback operating at 75% capacity with average pellet costs. Deployment: Where does M and V recommend deploying Biomass Boilers? Hot-water heated facilities using fuel oil. Most cost-effective for buildings in cold northern climates within 50 miles of a biomass pellet mill. [PDF - 231 KB]

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