The photo on the left shows a shake conveyor system that moves wood chip fuel from the receiving pit to the new biomass boiler. At the end of the conveyor are a series of holes that allow the properly sized chips to fall into another conveyor that transports the fuel into a blower system that will feed the fuel into the burner. The system uses electronic controls and proximity sensors to move the required amount of fuel to the boiler without human intervention. Occasionally, there are chips or pieces of the fuel supply that do not meet the proper dimensions and are too large for the blower system and burner. These pieces are called “overs” and are collected into a separate bin shown in the far right photo. Overs are then ground to the proper size and fed back into the receiving pit to go through the process. Fuel specifications should be listed in the fuel contract to control the amount of overs in the raw fuel supply to minimize labor required for rework. Careful consideration and evaluation of fuel sources are an important step in making a biomass system work properly.
Learn more about renewable energy, energy conservation, and sustainability management. Attend Gundersen Health System’s Envision seminars. For more information visit http://www.gundersenenvision.org/educational-programs.