Biomass Heaters As Efficient Thermal Energy Generator
Biomass heaters are becoming increasingly popular these days. This is a positive thing because it only means that there is an increased awareness on the need to generate alternative energy so that the non renewable resources like fossil fuels can be preserved.
Biomass heaters make it possible to generate thermal energy using biomass materials. That is done through different processes like gasification, CHP or combine heat and power, anaerobic digestion and aerobic digestion. The most common way to produce heat is by direct combustion.
The use of biomass for thermal energy production is very beneficial for the environment. Since biomass materials can already partially cover for the energy demand, the need for fossil fuels will be reduced. To make things even better, biomass materials are not emitting as much pollutants as fossil fuels. So, aside from conservation of non renewable materials, the harmful effects to ozone layer will also be minimized.
Various biomass heating systems are currently being utilized for several industries like the steel factories. Even the typical household can already have its own biomass heater. Residential establishments can have alternative source of thermal energy from biomass water heaters for the boilers and home heater systems.
The reason why biomass is being utilized by various institutions is because of the high biomass heating value. Heating value is the amount of thermal energy being produced by fuel after complete combustion. Biomass heaters can provide high temperature that is needed for the production of factories and for keeping the temperature in residences.
Different biomass materials can also have varied heating value. For crops that were planted for the purpose of generating energy, the amount of energy it can give will depend on the climate, soil and other conditions that affect its growth. Wood is known to have higher heat value compared to the crops because of lower ash content. For the amount of heat that can be derived from biomass materials, the way to measure it is to get the range rather than a specific vale.
People sometimes tend to get confused with the difference between biomass heating and biomass drying. Biomass heating is the system which enables people to use biomatter so that thermal energy can be produced. In biomass heating biofuels like pellets are being utilized. On the other hand biomass drying is the process that changes biomass materials to usable energy source. The moisture within the biomatter has to be removed so that it can be converted to a biofuel that is more combustible. Moisture reduction is done through biomass drying.
These days there are four different types of biomass heating systems.
First is the fully automated system which is controlled by machine and computers. Wood is delivered and dumped inside a holding tank. This gets transferred to a boiler following a controlled frequency.
Second is the semi-automated or surge bins. It is quite similar with the first system because it also uses holding tanks and boilers. The difference is that manpower is needed to maintain the flow of the process.
Third is the pellet-fired system which uses densified biomass or pellets. The pellets are more compact so handling and using it is easier. It is more efficient in generating heat too.
Fourth is the combined heat and power system. This utilizes wood chips for power generation and in effect, heat is also being produced.