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Table 3 Exemplary options for future smart heating concepts, data based on Smart Bioenergy, Ch. 6 [107]

From: Flexible bioenergy supply for balancing fluctuating renewables in the heat and power sector—a review of technologies and concepts

State of the art concept Changes in concept Needed research and developments Timeframe
Small scale log wood and wood pellet furnaces By integration of water pockets, the furnaces will be linked to the central house heating system. A central control unit will give advice to the user for additional heat demand and will optimize automatically the heat release to the room and to the central heating system which has a heat storage. Automatization of the heat release; furnaces with active air control; system controllers to integrate the biomass heat into the heating system of the building First combinations of heat pumps with wood log stoves or wood pellet stoves are already installed; optimized systems could be market available in up to 5 years; fully integrated and intelligent controlled smart systems will be available in about 10 years
Small scale wood pellet, wood log, and wood chip central heating boilers Either fully integrated biomass boilers or micro-CHP-units will be installed to fill all the remaining heat gaps by stabilizing the electricity grid as much as possible. Small size high flexible combustion as well as gasification units; improved high-quality fuels; micro-CHP-units with high electrical efficiency and very quick reaction times; intelligent system controllers Highly flexible and almost emission-free wood pellet boilers with less than 4 kW thermal output market ready in up to 5 years; improved fuels also from non-woody sources stepwise in the next 5 to 15 years; small-scale gasifiers depending on fuel 5 to 10 years; micro-CHP-units depending on the fuel, technology and level of electrical efficiency 5 to 20 years
Medium-sized bi-fuel wood chip heating systems with additional oil or gas boiler Highly flexible small scale CHP units with high electrical efficiency will be integrated into local heat distribution grids stabilizing the electrical grid as much as possible at the same time. Small-scale gasifiers especially for non-woody biomass; highly flexible motor engines and fuel cells; highly efficient heat distribution systems; intelligent system controllers Depending on the scale of efficiency the systems will be available in 5 to 15 years; market integration will very much depend on economical conditions