Biomass Boilers Help Social Housing

stoneham_green.jpgOne of the country’s first Code For Sustainable Homes Level 6 affordable housing schemes has utilised Windhager twin biomass boilers in a district heating scheme to help them achieve the highest score available under the code.

Stoneham Green near Southampton is an innovative development by Radian of 11, two and three-bedroom homes. The homes which are all for rent are occupied by young families, who were previously overcrowded, to retired couples downsizing to a smaller property. The scheme was formally opened by Kevin McCloud in May and has been shortlisted for eight separate sustainable housing awards. To reach Code Level 6, the architects have designed the properties to be airtight, with high levels of insulation and many sustainable features including low water use, roofs designed to maximise solar PV energy collection, and biomass heating.

Radian Group opted for a bespoke district heating system based around two 26kW Windhager BioWIN biomass boilers located in one central BioCABIN which is a pre-packaged plant room. Roughly the same size as a single garage, the BioCABIN also houses a hopper for up to nine months’ wood pellets, together with a 700 litre thermal store which feeds all eleven homes.

Commenting on the biomass heating system, Gavin Board, Senior Project Manager at Radian said, “In conjunction with our energy advisor we undertook a lot of research to find the most reliable and cost efficient system for our residents. We selected the Windhager biomass boilers for their reputation in the industry and its long track record in providing district heating systems on the continent. The system works really well and all of us including the tenants are very impressed with its efficiency and reliability”.

All the properties at Stoneham Green are fitted with an ‘energy dashboard’ located in the hallway which gives residents the benefit of seeing such things as energy saving and billing. Gavin Board of Radian explained, “It’s a great encouragement to greener living as residents can see how much energy they are using and they only pay for what they use”.

The two BioWIN 26kW biomass boilers provide a 52kW cascade system which with its modulating operation ensures an excellent energy saving. Using just 30% of its capacity or above, BioWIN supplies just the right amount of energy where and when required. Also maintenance work can be carried out easily without having to shut down the full system. The installation features Windhager’s 8 probe suction system in the hopper for the automatic feeding of wood pellets to the boilers.

The Windhager BioCABIN is manufactured off-site to contain the BioWIN wood pellet boiler. It’s a complete package including a pellet boiler, buffer tank, pressure units, plate heat exchangers, expansion vessels and heat meters. The BioCABIN is an innovative turn-key solution designed to minimise construction time and installation costs on site. It is simply craned into position for immediate connection to the on-site services of heating distribution pipes, water services and electrics prior to final commissioning.

The system is installed with an MES Control system (Modular Energy System), an intelligent, systematic control solution that fully integrates with the BioWIN for optimum production and distribution of heat. The additional technology of the MES offers a series of functions which enable the heat and hot water demands to be accommodated depending on requirements for maximum operating convenience and constant comfort.

Windhager’s BioWIN boiler is compact, fully automatic, with high levels of efficiency. It has fully automatic pellet feed, fully automatic ash removal and cleaning, and an optimised pellet burner.