Improving biomass boilers with French partners

South East Wood Fuels estimates that as many as 25% of the UK’s 30,000 biomass boilers (non-domestic and domestic) are operating at lower efficiencies than they could be.

This reflects a mixture of poor initial design, inappropriate and low quality fuel, and poor maintenance. The latter can sometimes lead to boilers operating at 10-15% below their potential performance. A similar situation has arisen in France.

SEWF along with three French partners – AILE, Pays de Fougeres and Department Ille-et-Vilaines – are working together in a 2-year project ending in mid-2020 to improve this situation. It has involved data monitoring 12 Pilot Projects (5 in the UK, 7 in France) to assess the true performance of the biomass boiler systems. This has utilised innovative and cost-effective data loggers and analysers to assess flow and return temperatures, flue temperatures, Oxygen levels, and overall system efficiencies. Data has been collected since late 2018 and throughout 2019 to date. The results have highlighted a wide range of issues and problems.

After meetings with clients, and some training sessions, an Action Plan has been drawn up for each of the Projects with targets savings of between 4% and 20%.

The remainder of 2019 and through 2020 will hopefully demonstrate the improvements calculated for the biomass boilers, and the further training of Operators on each site. We will also have a dissemination phase to spread the message over better maintenance, more trained Operators and data logging to highlight issues and solutions.

We will be sharing Case Studies and other short reports on lessons of the project in 2019 and 2020, as well as offering training sessions for a wider group of biomass installers, boiler owners, specifiers and engineers.

Optiwood team workshop.

Contact us about Optiwood

01323 340041


Shawfield, Laughton Lodge, Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BY