How expert service and maintenance can save your organisation time and money

29th October 2019

Investing in expert service and maintenance for your commercial biomass boiler will pay dividends in boiler performance. Regular servicing will extend the lifespan of your boiler and maximise heat output, meaning greater Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) returns.

Commercial biomass boilers require expert care and attention and need to be cleaned and serviced regularly to ensure optimal performance Ahead of the winter heating season, we’ve pulled together five key benefits of signing up to regular service and maintenance plan:

1) Maximise RHI returns

Maximising your RHI returns is the most compelling reason to sign up to a regular service and maintenance plan. RHI payments are only made when the boiler is operational so any periods of breakdown and repair will prove costly.

When a boiler is running efficiently, it requires less fuel to produce the same heat output as an inefficient boiler, in effect making the cost of fuelling the boiler lower for the same amount of RHI returns. Ensuring high boiler efficiency is a key part of any regular maintenance plan.

Ofgem require that all RHI registered boilers are serviced in line with manufacturers’ recommendations, which is usually once a year. Failure to organise regular servicing could lead to a loss of payments.

Putting your boiler into the hands of specialist engineers is one of the best ways to maximise your RHI payments over the 20-year period. A regular supply of good quality biomass fuel is also key.

2) Reduce breakdowns and prevent costly repairs

Boilers which are not regularly serviced run the risk of developing significant problems which can even lead to breakdowns. In particular, a build-up of ash and clinker can cause breakdowns and lead to expensive repairs.

The combustion chamber, the heat exchanger and flue system surfaces can be affected by ash deposits. Most automated biomass boilers have automatic heat exchanger cleaning mechanisms which clean some of the overall surface assisting with the efficiency of the boiler. These components gather ash over time restricting the flow of the flue gasses, reducing boiler efficiency and output.

Warning signs to look out for:

  • a lot of unburnt fuel within the ash deposit chamber
  • high levels of soot and clinker within the combustion chamber
  • excessive black smoke production during combustion

You will need to clean your boiler regularly and check for blockages or build-ups of fuel. If your boiler does not have an automatic ash cleaning function then you will need to clean it and remove the ash yourself. If your boiler is self-cleaning then ash will automatically be collected in the ash bin which you will need to empty. Some boilers even have an indicator on the control panel that will let you know when the ash needs to be emptied

3) Benefit from expert care and attention

Biomass boilers can be more complex than other boilers and should only be worked on by qualified engineers. Boilers that burn wood chip or pellet also need regular attention when it comes to filling, cleaning and fuel delivery.

Signing up to a regular service and maintenance plan means that engineers take responsibility for the boiler’s care and will be on hand for emergency repairs and issues.

A service should include an inspection and cleaning of specific parts, paying attention to seals, as well as replacing any worn parts. Experts can also spot any signs of issues developing such as the build-up of ash or clinker which can have a significant impact on boiler operation.

What’s included in the service?

  • a general inspection
  • cleaning of airway ports
  • inspection and cleaning of the heat exchanger and combustion chamber
  • all seals and bearings checked, replaced and/or greased where necessary
  • replacement of worn components
  • inspection and testing of all safety equipment
  • inspection of associated fuel equipment
  • flue gas analysis to check combustion efficient

It is suggested that the major service is carried out in the summer when the boiler is not in such high demand.

4) Getting the right settings for optimal fuel combustion

If your fuel type changes over time, the boiler settings will need to be adjusted appropriately to match the fuel type and quality. This is something which specialist engineers will check during a regular service. It’s also another good reason to stick with a reputable fuel supplier and maintain a consistent quality of biomass fuel.

Specialist engineers will optimise your boiler for the type of fuel you are using. This will also help improve overall boiler efficiency, helping ensure a reliable and cost-effective heat supply.

5) Promote boiler efficiency

Expert care will help ensure that your biomass heating system is operating efficiently, using less fuel to deliver more heat on demand.

Boiler efficiency is one of the most important things specialist engineers will work on, ensuring your biomass heating system delivers the best possible value for money. Inefficient boilers will use too much fuel, which will prove costly in the long term.

An experienced engineer will also look at the design of your biomass heat installation and whether this is having any negative impact on efficiency, and are often able to make suggestions on improving the design if you are concerned that it is not working as efficiently as expected. Even making small adjustments can help boost efficiency.

An efficient running boiler will also help optimise performance and increase RHI payments.

About AMP Clean Energy

AMP Clean Energy is the UK’s leading biomass heat services supplier, and we’re trusted to look after over 950 biomass systems throughout Great Britain. And, as the largest owner of biomass heating systems in the UK, you can trust that we have the infrastructure and economies of scale in place to make your biomass boiler work for you.

We’ve got the largest network of in-house, specialist biomass engineers, so we can be with you within hours if you need us.

Click here to find out more about our service and maintenance contracts.