A decision has to be made
early in the design process on which type of fuel is to be used. The choice of
fuel will mainly determine the building emissions rate target. Other factors
that would determine the choice of fuel are the efficiency criteria of the
boiler plant, availability, storage facilities and price. Where natural gas is available,
this tends to be the obvious choice of fuel as there is no requirement for
storage, it offers clean combustion and there is a wide choice of suitable
appliances. Liquid petroleum gas (LPG), although having the advan tages of gas
appliances, does require storage facilities. With oil, only distillate fuels
class C2 (kerosene) and class D (gas oil) tend to be used for 2 MW appliances
and under. Kerosene can be used in smaller appliances but reference must also
be made to the burner manufacturer.


The choice of renewables
can be limited when the fuel is linked with hot water heating systems as heat
pumps and solar panels are not always able to supply the higher water temperatures
required without gas-fired ‘top-up’. Liquid or solid biomass can be used as
alternatives to conventional liquid and solid fuels. Solid biomass (mainly wood
or waste pellets) burning appliances on a commercial scale, although they do
have some degree of automation, require manual supervision and facilities have
to be made for ash removal.

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Liquid biofuels have been
developed as a sustainable substitute for liquid fossil fuels. The pure blends

regarded as ‘carbon
neutral’ because the CO2 emitted when they are burnt is equal to
that which was absorbed

from the environment over
the lifetime of the fuel source (i.e. the crop). See section 4.2.10 for more
details. Thermal solar heating may be suitable for hot water service generation
but is not often appropriate for heating

systems because heating
is most likely to be needed when the availability of solar energy is at its
least. Hot water demand is more intermittent than space heating thereby allowing
the thermal solar energy an opportunity to recharge the thermal store.

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