Biomass boiler servicing: how get the best out of your boiler

Team of AMP Engineers

Without regular care and servicing commercial biomass boilers may become less efficient. This can lead to increased boiler downtime and the possibility of lost RHI payments. Here is our expert advice to help you optimise your boiler’s performance.

Preventing ash build-up

Ash build up can be very harmful to the operation of your biomass boiler. Part of the boiler that can be affected by ash are the combustion chamber, the heat exchanger and flue system surfaces.
Most automated biomass boilers have automatic heat exchanger cleaning mechanisms which clean some of the overall surface to support the efficiency of the boiler. However, these components gather ash over time. This restricts the flow of the flue gasses, which reduces boiler efficiency and output.
Many large commercial biomass boilers flue systems are fitted with cyclonic dirt scrubbers to remove fly ash and debris from the flue gases as they pass through the system. Therefore it is important that you clean these scrubbers regularly to ensure efficient removal of the materials.

The engineer will keep an eye out for any ash build-up during a biomass boiler service.

Beware of clinker!

Severe ash can develop into clinker, which looks like pieces of crystallised ash. Clinker formation is the most significant factor in wood pellet fuel quality. It can even can stop your boiler working.
The key factors are the melting temperature of ash residues and the percentage of ash in the fuel. Pellets with a higher ash content can become contaminated with non-wood products. This can reduce the melting temperature of the ash allowing clinkers to form on the grate, which in turn can disable the burner.
Keep an eye out for clinker. If you’re concerned about the amount of clinker in your boiler call out expert help or ask your engineer to check this during your next biomass boiler service,

Getting the right fuel consistency

Fuel with a consistent moisture content is important to most wood chip boilers. Moisture content can vary from 25% to 60% but most typically is around 30%.
If the moisture content of the wood chip is too high it can cause a boiler to shut down. However, if it is too low and the wood chip is too dry, it will burn too quickly.
The best thing you can do is to check that you are receiving a reliable supply of high-quality wood chip at the correct moisture content. It is best to buy woodchip from a supplier which is Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) authorised and Woodsure Plus accredited.

Regular biomass boiler servicing

Biomass boilers require regular servicing to ensure optimal performance and minimal downtime. Additionally, boilers that burn wood chip or pellets also need special care when it comes to filling, cleaning and fuel delivery.

The number of times a full shut down and planned maintenance should be carried out depends on several factors. This can include boiler usage levels, boiler types and boiler size. It really is worthwhile putting our biomass boiler servicing into the hands of an expert, preferably on a regular servicing and maintenance plan.

If you opt to get a biomass boiler service on an on-the-spot basis, then look out for these signs which show that your boiler needs maintaining:
1) A significant amount of fuel within the ash deposit chamber
2) High levels of soot and clinker in the combustion chamber
3) Excessive black smoke production during combustion

Flue problems

Flues are the pipes that take gases away. When the flues get clogged, air circulation is reduced and the boiler becomes inefficient. This can lead to poor performance and boiler failure.
If there is no automatic ash cleaning function on your boiler then you will need to clean it and remove the ash yourself or arrange for it to be done. Please bear in mind that you will need to shut the boiler down and allow it to cool before cleaning can take place. Depending on your fuel and boiler this could be a weekly task.

High quality fuel supply

At AMP, our wood chip and pellet meet the highest sustainability standards. We only source our wood fuel from responsible and accredited partners. Our established, robust supply chain ensures a dependable wood fuel supply throughout the winter heating season.

When it comes to wood chip our focus is on making everything – from sourcing, seasoning, to harvesting – as local as possible. All our wood chip is Biomass Suppliers List authorised and Woodsure Plus accredited.

Our low ash, low dust wood pellets meet ENplus certification, the highest quality standard in Europe, audited by the European Pellet Council.
AMP is also named on the Government’s official Biomass Suppliers List (BSL). This which means that we can guarantee that the wood pellets we supply and the processes we follow, meet the sustainability measures set out by HETA and Ofgem, the government’s gas and electricity regulator.

Peace of mind with our Service & Support Plans

Regular biomass biomass servicing and care will extend the lifespan of your boiler. It will also promote optimum performance, increasing boiler uptime and maximising RHI returns. There really is no substitute to putting your boiler into the hands of our team of expert biomass engineers. They will help assess and advise on the service choice which is right for you. By letting AMP take complete care of your boiler, all operational hassle and day-to-day strain is taken away, leaving you to focus on your core business.

Find out more about our Service & Support Plans