Wood Chip heating systems are particularly suitable for large heat users such as hospitals, care homes, leisure centres, schools, hotels, retail, industrial and commercial sites. This could also include residential applications where homes are connected to a single wood chip boiler via a heat network (district heating pipes).
Wood energy systems are suitable for new build projects or can be plumbed directly into existing wet heat systems in retro-fit installations. They can be operated as independent stand alone boilers or can be installed in parallel with fossil boilers to operate as the lead boiler.
If energy price and security is your concern, consider which is the greater riskoil and gas from unstable regions of the world or a locally available abundant resource supplied in a competitive market?
In fact anyone who uses expensive fossil fuels for heating may benefit from wood energy. The benefits to you can include:
Much lower cost fuel
Stable priced fuel over the long term
Massively reduced C02 emissions
Fuel supplied locally from sustainable supplies.
Wood energy systems are expensive to install and energy users must think carefully about the scale of investment before making financial commitments. Wood chip systems range in cost enormously, with the smallest systems suitable for small schools, small hotels and so on costing from 30,000 to 40,000. Mid sized commercial systems for leisure centres, large hotels and hospitals can cost 200,000 to 300,000. Industrial scale systems may cost over 1 million.
Although this expenditure can be offset via grants from Sustainable Energy Ireland its remains a large cost. This investment is justified through the often very large annual energy savings. We have found that hospitals, large offices and leisure centres can save 50,000 to 100,000 per year simply by switching to wood chips. These users also know that they will be insulated from all future oil price rises.
It is often perceived that wood energy systems are noisy, dusty and require daily input and lack controllability. In fact wood energy systems are fully automated and easy to use and operate. They provide a degree of control that is akin to fossil fuel boilers, indeed they can be controlled by a PC or simple electronic timer or even from your mobile phone.
Wood energy is already providing over 10% of most Europeans heating and hot water so it might be for you - as the modern renewable energy choice in Ireland.