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Case Studies

Church Farm, Shropshire

“Church Farm’s district heating system demonstrates the versatility of biomass in providing heat to a range of buildings from a centralised boiler. It has increased energy efficiency, improved the living environment in the buildings and significantly reduced carbon emissions. It is also a good example of farm diversification generating a new income stream through the RHI, with 100% capital allowance on the installation in the first year.” Stephen Davies, Sales Director, TGE Group.

The Project

A Shropshire farmer has turned his back on oil in favour of biomass, for a cleaner, greener way to supply multiple buildings on the farm with heating and hot water. The aim of the project was to reduce heating costs and CO2 emissions, as well as moving away from existing, costly heating systems including oil and storage heaters.

The Solution 

A 90kW ETA Hack biomass boiler was recommended by TGE Group as a robust, reliable and cost effective boiler, ideally matched to providing district heating requirements. With automatic ash disposal, tilting grate and wood chip conveyor system designed to avoid blockages, the system has high level control including hot water tank management and an outside temperature controlled heating circuit.

The ETA boiler was designed and installed by our heat engineers to provide heat and hot water to three separate dwellings on the estate, including the main farmhouse. To reduce the costs of installation and planning requirements, an existing farm building was converted to provide a boiler room and woodchip storage, providing good access for fuel deliveries. The three properties were connected to the boiler room by 110 metres of district heating main.

The system was designed to ensure that it qualified for subsidy under the government Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, guaranteeing a 20-year income for the owner and payback of 4 years. The system was supplied with a full monitoring package to track the boiler’s performance remotely over the internet.  With the possibility of additional buildings being linked to the system in the future, extra care was taken to design an extendable, future-proof system.

Energy Saving

With a peak output of 90kWh, the system will generate a potential 123,000kWh/year. The ETA biomass boiler has a design efficiency of 93% and is fed by woodchip with a calorific value of 3.8kWh/kg at a cost of £75/tonne, giving a cost of heat of 2.5p/kWh.