At Froling Energy, Biomass is what we call fuels that are directly derived from trees:
- Wood Pellets
- PDCs (Precision Dry Wood Chips)
- Green (wet + un-screened) Wood Chips
WOOD PELLETS: Most of our customers rely on premium Wood Pellets as their biomass fuel because it is the driest, most flexible, easiest to manage and most energy dense biomass option. Pellets have a moisture content of between 5% and 7%. Wood pellets flow like water, moving easily from a bulk delivery truck into a storage bag, bin or silo and on into the boiler. Bulk delivery of wood pellets is now available in most areas of New England. Wood pellet systems are more flexible and fit more easily into buildings at less cost.
PDCs: Precision Dry Wood Chips are another locally produced biomass fuel that can be burned as cleanly as wood pellets in many of the larger model wood pellet boilers. PDCs are green bole wood chips that have been screened so that none are much bigger than an old fashioned match book. Then they are dried down so their moisture content is less than 30%. Our larger clients are turning to PDCs because they cost 35% less than wood pellets. The extra costs of a PDC burning system are minimal compared to the future fuel savings involved.
PDCs are being produced in our Peterborough manufacturing facility and delivered by our blower truck.
GREEN WOOD CHIPS: These are trees, cut down, chipped up and delivered. As fresh cut wood, green chips contain up to 50% moisture so they are typically burned in very large boiler systems specifically designed for wet chips. Some green chip boiler systems can burn whole tree chips containing a high percentage of bark. Other green chip boilers burn only bole wood (main tree trunks only). The percentage of bark is much higher with whole tree chips which means more ash and fewer BTUs per ton. Green wood chips are quite inexpensive to buy but the infrastructure investment required to burn them can be quite costly so only the largest fuel users can cost-justify a green wood chip boiler system.
(Those are K-Cups in the photos to give a sense of chip size and regularity.)
These three fuels are come from the same source: Trees! The main differences between them are moisture content, percentage of bark and the amount of processing each one goes through. Many biomass boiler owners prefer to let the wood pellet manufacturers process the green wood into dry pellets because the boilers and related equipment needed to burn them costs much less than a system that burns the green chips and the ongoing maintenance of the system is far less as well.
Froling Energy sells and installs a variety boiler systems that can burn each one of these fuels in various combinations.