Standards - fuels and appliances


Why do we need Standards?

A variety of biomass which can be used to produce energy use. In most cases, the conversion equipment (i.e., the burner) works most effectively with only a few types and forms of biomass fuel. For wood pellet fuel, as for any other major fuel, there can be major differences in performance properties between different batches arising from the use of different feedstock material with different ash and moisture content. An attraction of wood pellets as a fuel is its quality consistency and thus its predictable combustion characteristics. Without standards, variability in pellet quality could lead to blockages in the fuel feed line, inefficient combustion performance, fluctuation in air emissions, condensation in the flue, or automatic shut down of the equipment as it moves outside its design operating regime. (See below for BANZ Wood Fuel Classification Guidelines).

Standards are required for both combustion equipment, and also the pellet fuels. They are both vital if wood fuel is to become a mainstream commodity fuel that users can buy for confident and trouble free operation. They are there to ensure reliable, efficient, trouble free operation. This is one of wood pellets major attributes compared to solid wood fuel which is much less likely to have consistent fuel characteristics, in particular with regard to moisture content. Standards for pellet fuel aim to ensure a consistent quality so as to ensure predictable and consistent air emissions.

Regional Councils will have more confidence in wood fuel use in residential heating where the combustion characteristics of the fuel is predictable because of the use of standard specified grades of fuel.

The main standards for the wood pellets sector typically cover the following issues

  • Pellets specification (i.e. size, shape, chemical content, water content etc)
  • Pellet boiler or heater emissions
  • Pellet boiler or heater efficiency
  • Pellet boiler or heater installation

Useful links and resources

Use the links below to find more information on national and international wood pellet standards