It is important the biomass installers have a broad understanding of the boilers available from different manufacturers and how they match their customers needs.
Boilers from different manufacturers will have varying levels of automation which will help reduce the burden on the end user. As a minimum, a good quality pellet or chip boiler could reasonably be expected to come with the following as standard:
- Automatic de-ashing of combustion chamber and boiler tubes;
- Self-cleaning grate;
- Boiler tube cleaning (pneumatic or turbulator-based);
- Ability to issue error messages via text message or email.
Various other optional features are offered by the more advanced manufacturers, many of which are designed/intended to make the job of the user more straightforward.
These include advanced control systems which provide information on general operational issues, such as the ash pan needing to be emptied, or which provide the functionality to remotely read a heat meter; fuel store level sensors and the ability to use remote access to change heating settings.
Features such as these have a significant upside – improving the overall customer experience of the heating system, but also have a downside, as they bring additional complexity and (usually) an increased capital cost.
Each customer (and each installation) will have a different level of expectation around their heating system and the features that it will have.