The Beaulieu Motor Museum houses the main motor museum, vehicle collection, the Brabazon restaurant, collections archive with learning centre and the main JMB offices.

In order to reduce energy costs and adopt green heating, their existing oil heating system was replaced with biomass. The site was heated by a district heating scheme system with two 600kW oil boilers. This was replaced by a 400kW baseload biomass boiler, with the oil boilers now being used as back up or during peak load. The biomass now provides 90% of the heat demand through winter.

Fuel Supply and Chip Handling

It is anticipated that the client will purchase wood chip from a local supplier until their own forestry operations begin. The fuel requirement will be around 327 tonnes per year. Due to the restricted space available for fuel storage, Dunster designed and constructed a store which allowed optimal storage of 125m3, and built an access road for delivery vehicles, enabling large HGV’s to simply reverse up to the fuel store. The store has a large, double-leaf power-assisted opening lid allowing fuel to be tipped straight in.

System Design and Installation

Dunster designed and installed a new BMS system, centred on the ETA control system, allowing weather compensation across the whole site and individual control for each building. We also used new energy-efficient distribution pumps throughout. This has resulted in a highly efficient system using significantly less heat and fuel. Dunster undertook major repairs to corroded sections of heat main, involving the removal of large sections of existing steel main and then feeding Rehau Rauthermex back into the ducting to reconnect the main lines following the repairs.


This project has substantially reduced heating bills for the Beaulieu National Motor Museum and contributed to their low CO2 emissions. The estate forestry will also soon benefit from the supply of woodchip to the museum.


March 2015


Supply of hot water and heating to the whole museum site.

Boiler and Plant

ETA 400kW baseload of biomass system, with the backup and peak demand being provided by 800kW oil boilers. This was all installed into in an existing plant room.


The boilers will use around 327 tonnes of wood chip per annum, producing around 1.1Mwh of heat. The client is purchasing wood chip from a local supplier until they set up their own supply.

Chip Storage

Dunster designed a large, reinforced waterproof subterranean fuel store, 5m x 5m square capable of holding up to 125m3 of woodchip. This was built to withstand the extreme weight of the HGV lorries tipping the fuel directly into it.

Grant / Funding

The system was funded by the Beaulieu National Motor Museum and is accredited under the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Savings / Investment

Switching from oil to biomass heat is providing significant savings on heating bills. Additionally, the income from RHI payments will pay off the capital expenditure of the system.

CO2 saving

Estimated at 385 tonnes per annum.

Our 90kw ETA Hack wood chip boiler suffered water damage in late 2014. Dunster Biomass Heating was the only company that could fix the issues without costing me new components. What we have learned is simple. Experience is key! When there is an unusual problem you need more than a guy with a manual – you need a company with the expertise, ability and willingness to solve the problem!

Nick Hiscox, Director, GSF Livestock Equipment