fonthill wood chip store

Saving energy and a teaching post

Bristol primary school switches to biomass heating to reduce costs

Heating costs were taking a larger and larger slice out of the budget of this primary school in Bristol. Bristol City Council identified biomass heating as a promising opportunity for the school. The savings from the wood chip heating system and the income under the Renewable Heat Incentive are expected to keep one badly needed teacher in post.

Vollmer Engineering were chosen to provide concept design and budget costing, planning support, detailed system design (including technical specification of all plant items), preparation of tender documents for boiler supply, M&E and construction contractors, technical support throughout construction and commissioning as 'Client's Engineer'.

As a design consultant for biomass heating systems under the Carbon Trust Biomass Heat Accelerator project, Vollmer Engineering benefitted from financial support by the Carbon Trust for this project.

An on-site district heating network connects three former boiler rooms (2 previously with oil boilers, 1 with gas boiler). One of the former oil tank rooms is being used as a fuel store for wood chips. The client was in the process of buying a scissor lift trailer. This allowed us to plan for tipping into the fuel store through a hydraulically-operated hatch in the roof (see picture). Building insulation measures were undertaken as part of the project.

The system:

  • 300kW wood chip boiler and modular 660kW gas boiler to provide space heating for two buildings with a total floor area of 4000m2
  • 150t of wood fuel used per year, from Bristol City Council's in-house fuel production
  • Expected fuel cost savings: 22,100 per year
  • Expected RHI income: 18,600 per year