Can I Generate Electricity from my Industrial Biomass Boiler?

Yes. How much is a little bit more complicated to answer. Most Industrial biomass boiler in the UK are low temperature hot water boilers and traditional have not be capable of electricity generation via traditional steam turbines. However with new advances in technology, “low temperature” electrical generation is available to convert your excess thermal energy to electricity.

It has been very common with Ranheat system over the past 35 years to dissipate excess thermal energy to atmosphere. This is because most of our customers generate waste wood on site and part of the reason for their industrial biomass systems into get rid of waste wood disposal costs. This can reduce diesel emissions from waste carriers and has economic and environmental benefits.

Now, there is another option.

The ORC (or Organic Rankine Cycle) is a thermodynamic cycle using the hot water from your Industrial biomass boiler to boil a refrigerant fluid confined in a close loop, which drives a micro-turbine to generate electricity. Ranheat is working with partners to integrate ORC into new and upcoming installations and retrofit ORCs to our existing customers’ installations.

Return on Investment

Electricity generated being used on site mean that the customer gets the full benefit of the electricity as he displayed buy a kWh of electricity from the grid. Export of electricity to the grid general is paid at a lower rate than what you buy electricity. However, for the majority of industrial clients the electrical usage on site is always significant enough to consume all electricity generated.

Available running hours will depend on the wood waste available and if the thermal energy is required for other uses, such as space heating, kilning, and heat for industrial processes.

Lots of these questions can be answer by customers with RanheatIO services and usage is logged. We will be able to provide reasonable expectations of yield and performance.

Any new or existing Ranheat customer with high levels of heat dissipation during the summer and electricity of over 20p/kW could have as little as a 3-year return on investment.

ORCs can deliver large savings but are a significant capital purchase. That is why we are offering financing scheme and pay per kWh hour used. This would pay for the installation, integration, servicing, and maintenance of the machine and sell you electricity back at 12p/kWh.

Contact us to find out more.


At Ranheat, our wood-fired industrial biomass boilers are tailored to the specific needs of our clients. For more information about our products, please visit You can also contact us at [email protected] or by telephoning 01604 750005.


  • 28 November 2023
  • Alexander Franklin