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Woodchip fuel is suited to larger scale systems, and can be particularly useful on sites that include areas of woodland.
Wood chip boilers are most appropriate for medium and large scale installations. Buildings that currently use wood chip boilers include blocks of flats, visitors centres, office buildings and even airport terminals. It is very important to ensure that wood chip boilers are supplied with the appropriate type of fuel. This will vary between boiler types and sizes. The two most important variables are particle size and moisture content. Wood chips that are too large or too wet for example, can jam the fuel feed system, reduce the efficiency and reliability of the boiler or cause the control system to trip out. More information about fuel standards can be found here.
Wood chips can be produced from round wood by using specialised wood chippers. These are designed to produce a uniform size of chip that works well in automated fuel feed systems. There is a large number of wood chip suppliers around the country, alternatively if the boiler is going to be installed on a farm or other site with its own woodland it may be possible to use this resource to provide at least part of the fuel requirement. The use of a specialist, contract chipper service can avoid the need to buy a chipper.
Since wood chips require less processing than pellets and less manual handling than logs, they can be an extremely energy efficient use of biomass. Country estates, farms and other sites where there is woodland near to the point of end use are particularly well suited to wood chip systems. Many of these sites also find that they are able to offset forestry and heating costs within the organisation.
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