Case study

Loyton Lodge, Devon

200kW woodchip boiler with 5,000 litre accumulator tank

Key facts


April 2014


Heating and hot water to an exclusive rural retreat
and estate houses.

Boiler and plant

ETA HACK 199kW biomass boiler and a 5,000 litre accumulator tank in a purpose built plant room, with semi-subterranean fuel store. A centralised oil peak load and back-up boiler is also located in main plant room.


The boiler is set up to use G30-G50 woodchip and is brought in via 6-wheeled lorries and tipped into the fuel store through a sliding roof. A five metre rotary agitator at the bottom of the fuel store feeds the boiler.

Grant / Funding

The system was self-funded and accredited under the
non–domestic RHI scheme.

Savings / Investments

Savings in oil and woodchip costs of around £12,500 are expected together with an RHI income of around £22,000 per annum guaranteed for 20 years.

Loyton Lodge is an exclusive, rural retreat at the centre of a world renowned shooting venue on the edge of Exmoor. The lodge sleeps up to twenty guests with a high heating and hot water demand, particularly in winter during the shooting season.

There is also the Estate House, cottages and a shool lunch room all supplied by the district heating network. The properties were previously heated by a combination of oil and woodchip boiler that was inefficient and expensive to run. Dunster were asked to examine the existing system and advise on options to improve reliability and cost. Dunster recommended decommissioning the old woodchip boiler and replacing this with a new ETA HACK 199kW woodchip system eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Fuel supply and chip handling

Woodland from around the estate is harvested and seasoned prior to chipping by an external contractor directly into a Dutch barn. Chipping is undertaken annually and has the advantage of being sited well away from the lodge and its guests. Fuel is then periodically loaded into a trailer and transferred to the fuel store where it is tipped through a sliding roof into a semi-subterranean fuel store. The system is expected to use around 100 tons of woodchip per annum.

System design and installation

The system was designed to satisfy 100% of the heat and hot water demand across all properties connected to the district heating network. Due to the high demands of running an exclusive hotel Dunster installed the existing 150kW oil boiler as a backup boiler in the main plant room. This was configured in such a way to both provide an automated back-up and to deliver peak load heat should heat requirements in a very cold winter exceed what the biomass system can deliver on its own.

Dunster also upgraded the control system and heat transfer pumps to ensure greater efficiency and higher levels of comfort through the use of weather compensated heating.


The project has brought substantial environmental and financial benefits to the estate.

Download Loyton Lodge case study

Recent Dunster case studies

Nethybridge Centre – 70kW wood pellet boiler

Gilmour & Aitken Ltd, Scotland – 500kW woodchip boiler

Blervie House, Moray – 205kW woodchip boiler

Beaulieu National Motor Museum – 1.2mW woodchip heating system

Southern Wood Energy – Froling LM KOM-H 1000, woodchip heating system

Southern Wood Energy  – Froling woodchip CHP50 Plant

West Country Estate – 130 kW Woodchip District Heating Scheme

Wiltshire Estate – 130 kW woodchip district heating scheme

St Paul’s Church, Weston-Super-Mare – Containerised 140kW wood pellet heating system

Alvie Manse, Inverness-Shire – 35 kW Wood Chip Heating System

site design by  TOMODOMO