The fundamental justification behind purchasing a solid-fueled boiler is that the fuel used is a cheaper alternative to oil and gas, which can lead to faster return on investment. Years ago, all boilers were solid fueled. However, the convenience of oil and gas piping along with declining fuel prices, rising labor costs and strict EPA regulations have raised questions about which type of boiler will save more money.
Technology has brought solid-fueled boilers a long way in recent years. Systems can be built to run automatically with electromechanical fuel-feed systems, variable-frequency controls and even automatic de-ash machinery. Nonetheless, even with modern engineering, savings in a solid-fueled boiler must be earned. When operated correctly, these boilers can run continuously, stopping only for scheduled shutdown procedures.