Scottish farm installs Windhager biomass boiler

By Robin Whitlock on August 30th, 2012

Farmers throughout the UK are increasingly choosing to install renewable energy equipment in order to try and reduce their energy bills. Among the farms in Scotland going down the green energy route, Mounteagle Farm is one that has opted for a biomass boiler, with impressive results.

The farm consists of 500 acres of arable land north of Inverness along with a large farmhouse, various tenanted cottages, a holiday cottage and a number of outbuildings used for various purposes. Recently they installed two Windhager UK Bio WIN boilers which uses biomass to create heat. The boilers have been installed in the farmhouse in a centrally located boiler room and they have replaced an old central heating system which served the farmhouse along with two of the tenanted cottages. There is also a centrally located pellet store used to store the wood pellet fuel.

The 45 kW boilers have been installed in a cascade system which is a method of installation usually used in commercial buildings where the boilers work with each other in order to increase efficiency. The basic idea is that they are configured to optimise heat and hot water supply according to the level of demand. Therefore if it turns out that only one boiler is needed, only one turns on. This provides a modulated output ranging from 13.5kW to 90kW. The boilers also have an automatic change over unit with eight suction probes and a 1,500 accumulator tank has also been installed with a 15-tonne wood pellet hopper. The suction system helps the boilers to operate at a distance, in this case up to 25 metres away.

“Windhager offers quality equipment, manufacturer and installer back-up” said Stewart Macintyre of Highland Heat & Power which installed the system. “The client preferred the operational advantages of a two unit cascade system as well as the preference for wood pellet fuel that provides an automatic trouble-free operation.”

Douglas Russell, who owns Mounteagle Farm, said he chose Windhager because of its well engineered boiler system and robust reputation backed up by a network of local engineers. “The installation, commissioning and operation of the system has been a fantastic experience” he said, “The system works perfectly. We have never been so warm in our house. I don’t know why I waited as long as I did!”

The system has been installed in such a way as to operate completely automatically thus providing a totally environmentally friendly method of heating the buildings. It is designed to ensure minimum CO2 emissions while providing maximum output. The intention was to maximise fuel efficiency, safety and easy operation within a compact design and assisted by a flexible pellet storage solution. The boilers are also both HETAS and MCS certificated and therefore meet the eligibility requirements of the Renewable Heat Incentive.

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