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A Farm Biomass Installation in Meidrim Case Study

The farm consists of a number of buildings requiring heating and hot water, some daily and others less frequently. There are 4 houses, a main residence occupied fully and three other properties let on a long term basis and the other for holiday accommodation purposes. A future link was also planned for a proposed new indoor pool and a barn conversion. The requirement was for a boiler to be able to cope with demand from all these units, simultaneously when required. The new system needed to be low-maintenance and economical to run and supported by an experienced locally based specialist biomass company.

Large Farm Biomass Wood Pellet Installation Case Study

Solution:

Biofutures undertook a detailed feasibility study to advise and plant such a major change at the holding. Biofutures designed a heating system using an Austrian 65 and 35kW BIOTECH fully automated wood pellet boilers with the larger unit being the main heat provider. The 35kW unit being a back up supplementary unit as and when required too provide some additional flexibility and robustness to the system.

Farm Biomass System Layout

The pellet boilers are linked to a 3000lit buffer tank to store the hot water for on-demand use. A network of subterranean district pipes were designed to carry the water to each site and distribution of space heating and domestic hot water is handled through RHI metered heat exchange units and associated DHW cylinders. The owner constructed a large pellet silo with worm screws feeding each boiler within the agricultural shed. A pellet solution was chosen due to the high calorific value of pellets, mass kg and energy density compared to logs or wood chip. The enhanced levels of convenience and lower maintenance implications were also key factors in the eventual route taken.

Biomass plant room and installation at Meidrim farm

The BIOTECH pellet boilers were selected due to its their high performance and low maintenance requirements. The boiler is self-regulating and has excellent in-built systems to deal with different types of wood pellet, blockages and automatic ash removal. The boilers are controlled via a touch pad screen on the front of each boiler and a cascade unit that will call on the boilers as demand occurs.

Savings:

Farm buildings supplied by Biomass heating and hot water system

The differences in running costs (fuel costs and maintenance) between the previous oil boiler and the newly installed biomass boiler, alongside the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments result in significant savings compared to the previous oil systems and annual income of £12600.00. This will generate £234180.00 from RHI payments, excluding savings and annual indexation to be added over the 20 years RHI scheme period.