/ Biomass boilers/heaters in Poland
The type of heating system you instal depends entirely on the type/size of property you have; taking into account what storage facilities you have for fuel, as well as local availability.
After a long process of evaluating all types of boiler systems available - including heat pump, gas, oil, coal, wood, biomass etc - a couple of years ago I installed a brand new system in a large county manor (15 rooms). Each system has pros and cons - for instance, convenience versus fuel costs, and so on. As it was a big project to run new pipework and fit new radiators throughout the whole house, as well as a new boiler, hot water storage tank and controls, installation costs were a big factor in the decision making. Also, I wanted the lowest long-term running and maintenance costs. It was also important that the heating system could function during power cuts.
I have pretty well unlimited space for storing fuel under cover outside, and have two large fuel stores in the basement next to the boiler room. There are abundant supplies of wood available locally as well as suppliers who can bulk deliver pre-packed wood briquets, as well as Rekord coal briquets. I did not want to tie myself down to being able to use only one kind of fuel, hence decided on a boiler that burns all solid fuels - as opposed to boilers which burn only one fuel, be it biomass pellets, oil, gas, or whatever. Choosing a boiler that burns only one type of fuel places you at the mercy of the fuel supplier.
Choice of boiler is critical. The vast majority of boilers sold now are fabricated from welded sheet steel. The steel is usually of fairly low carbon content and of limited life-span. The best choice for long life is always a cast ion boiler. I decided on a Viadrus 45 kw - superb quality, and very compact considering the high heat output. In fact, the massive size of many boilers - especially the biomass burners - ruled them out, as the boiler had to be got into the basement through a window! In fact, a very important point of boiler choice is whether you can get it into you boiler room! Don't even consider trying to get a 3/4 ton big boiler down/up a flight of stairs!!!!
Storing fuel near your boiler is very important. You need lots of space, and good access for several tons of fuel. You don't want to be carrying sacks or buckets of stuff from somewhere outside through the snow all winter!
Biomass boilers can be a good solution if money is no object. They can certainly be convenient - but you still need to fill the hopper now and again, and you still need to empty the ash. However, be aware that you will be at the mercy of suppliers of only one kind of fuel - and their rising costs. You won't be able to burn logs or anything else. You may have to replace the boiler earlier than you had hoped for. Maintenance costs could be high - motor, gears etc. And, if there is a power cut, you will have no heating.
I run my system all winter at 70 to 80C, big house - 15 rooms - 8 tons of fuel this past year. All very toasty!
One final tip... buy your winter's fuel between May and July, when costs are lowest. As said, you will need somewhere to store it.
By the way, as an ex-engineer in the power industry, I can offer my two cents worth with perhaps a little authority.