60Kw Log Gasification Heating System
Hindon Organic Farm includes an 18th Century farmhouse run as a thriving Bed and Breakfast business. Increasing oil costs and a boiler reaching the end of its economic life persuaded the owners to look at alternative heating systems and they decided to install a60Kw log gasification boiler.
The nature of livestock farming means that the daily task of loading and lighting the boiler, taking less than 5 minutes, is easily achieved while the existing farm buildings can accommodate a large store of seasoned logs. A small condensing oil boiler was installed to provide automated base heat in the event of the owner being away for a prolonged period but this has not been used in the first year of operation.
Fuel Supply and Boiler Loading
Bulk deliveries of Roundwood are purchased as required from local forestry operators and stored on the farm to season. When the desired moisture content has been achieved, a contractor is engaged to cut and split the logs to the required size. A year’s supply is easily processed in one day. Unlike woodchip and pellet boilers, log boilers are not automated and do not self-light, however, the task of filling the boiler with wood and then lighting it only takes around 5 minutes. The periodicity with which this is required depends on demand, but at Hindon Farm, it has ranged from once every 2-3 days in summer to up to 3 times per day when the B&B was full during the exceptionally harsh weather in December 2010.
System Design and Installation
The system was designed for 100% of heat and hot water to be provided by Biomass. Once lit, a log boiler burns all the fuel in the furnace, therefore a large, 3,000-litre, accumulator tank was installed to store the resulting heat and allow distribution to radiators and as hot water over a prolonged period. Only once the temperature of the accumulator tank falls below a certain level is it necessary to re-fill and re-light the boiler. For occasions when no one is available to re-fill the boiler, a modern condensing oil boiler was installed but this has not been used.
In addition to dramatically reducing the heating bills for the house, the project has further contributed to the ‘green’ image of Hindon Organic Farm.
60Kw ETA SH wood gasification boiler installed in a converted outbuilding with a 3000-litre accumulator tank.
The boiler is expected to use approximately 30 tonnes of seasoned 50cm logs per year to produce around 110,000Kwh of heat. Bulk round wood is bought in and seasoned in the open air for around 12 months before being cut and split by a contractor.
The owners received a 40% grant from the Bioenergy Capital Grants Scheme.
The previous oil heating system was generating bills of around £8,000 per year, however, by purchasing timber in bulk and seasoning it on site, it is expected that the capital cost of the system will be paid back through savings on fuel costs within 3 years.
Estimated at 35 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!