Biomeiler

Introduction

Holzhackschnitzel.jpgBiomeiler are extracting heat from a special compost heap and are therefore also known as "Compost Heating". Their function are based on the principal of composting. During this process aerobic bacteria are converting organic matter (in this case wood chips) into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. This process occurs everywhere around us on the ground and in the soil:

  • The heat generated in this process is mostly lost at present.
  • The carbon dioxide (CO2) is the least wanted product, but it occurs in any case and by extracting the heat from a biomeiler we are not releasing any additional carbon dioxide. We most likely safe CO2 by not burning gas, coal or oil.Watering_completed_Biomeiler.JPG
  • The ammonium is turned by bacteria into nitrites and nitrates useful for improving soil in agriculture and horticulture.

Composting is the one key natural cycle turning organic matter back into its useful components. Compost can also be used to generate biogas through anaerobic digestion.

A biomeiler is a very simple system using just pipes, water and the compost heap from shredded shrubs. The only moving part is a standard central heating circulation pump. This simple construction reduces maintenance cost and the risks of failure.

A biomeiler "runs" for a year to 18 months producing enough heat for a house and the water. In the warmer parts of the year there will be more heat than required and it could be stored for the winter or one might share it with neighbours to help them reduce their energy bill and CO2 footprint.

Biomeilers are not the solution for everyone. A biomeiler needs some space in the garden or a back yard. Often biomeilers are shown as large round heaps, but they can be equally square or rectangular and more compact to fit into corners and be hidden away.

Biomeilers are certainly one of the most economic solutions to generate clean heating energy.

There will be plenty of questions around the subject and we recommend that you look at our F&Qs under Biomeiler and use our forum to find out more.

What are the costs?

A biomeiler with 4 kW output generates around 35,000 kWh in 12 months.
This is a comparison for systems and fuel cost in the UK. In the table below we have compared the total cost of different types of heating systems (note - the investment and labour only includes installation of the boiler, water tank if needed & direct accessories):

  Gas Combi
Bioler (no H/W tank)
Gas Boiler
w. H/W Tank
Oil Boiler
w. Tank

Wood Pallet
Boiler & Tank

Biomeiler
with H/W Tank
Investment £ 1,500 £ 1,900 £ 2,600 fr. £ 6,800 £ 1,750
Labour £ 700 £ 1,100 £ 1,000 £ 1,200 £ 750
sum investment
£ 2,200 £ 3,100 £ 3,600 £ 8,000 £ 2,500
Depreciation 12y 12y 12y 12y 10y
Fuel type  Nat. Gas  Nat. Gas Heating oil Wood chips
(30%MC)
Wood chips
fresh (70%MC)
Fuel cost per kWh  4.1p  4.1p 5.6p 3.9p 3p
Cost of depr. p.a. @ 5% Intr. £ 250 £ 350 £ 400 £ 900 £ 320
Fuel p.a.  £ 1,450  £ 1,450  £ 1,960  £ 910  £ 1,000
Servicing p.a.  £ 200  £ 250  £ 340  £ 250 £ 50
sum  £ 1,900  £ 2,250  £ 2,700  £ 2,060  £ 1,370
Comparison in %
 140%  160%  200%  150%  100%
  • Cost comparison is based on data up to July 2011.
  • The biomeiler system is initially more expensive in terms of investment than the combi boiler solution because the combi boiler does not require a hot water tank and installation of it. But a system with a hot water tank gives you hot water more consistently.
  • A Biomeiler systems allows you to do a lot of the work yourself and save cost all along the way.
  • A Biomeiler has just a few components that could go wrong:
    • The only moving part is a standard central heating pump - cost around £ 50 - 170.
    • And there is a passive heat exchanger - cost around £ 50 - 100 depending on size & make.
    • There are now PCB control boards.
  • Cost for electricity are not included on the basis that all systems need circulation pumps.

How to get a Biomeiler?

You can build your own or you can order one from one one of our certified partners.
For both ways there is an add-on option - you could organise the building of your biomeiler as a workshop and reduce the cost of building it in several ways.

These are the steps:

  1. Choose the System you need.
  2. Calculate the required size of your Biomeiler.
  3. Space and Access.
  4. Size your Biomeiler online or with your installer.
  5. Your Solution
  6. Connecting to your Central Heating.
  7. Installing your Biomeiler
  8. Enjoy the warmth ....

If you want to build your own you can find all the parts needed in our on-line shop.

 

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