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Westbuckland School

Westbuckland School
5D Group We were commissioned to design and install a 600kW Biomass boiler system to replace the existing 1 MW of oil boilers in the school. It appeared on the face of it that a single boiler within the medium tariff range would be the only option available to the school but using innovative design and thermal modelling techniques we were able to split the system up to provide three separate heating and hot water systems to maximise the return under the renewable heat incentive scheme. This resulted in three 199kW boilers Herz pellet boilers being installed which were hydraulically separated to benefit from the higher level of RHI tariff.

Gas back up boilers were also built into the design to act as a 'top up' to the Biomass boilers during cold spells. This significantly reduced the size of the boilers required and the innovative design, including new calorifiers and buffer tanks, provided a cost saving as well as a minimal disruption to the site.

A new Energy Centre was designed and built on the site of an old storage shed and a district heating system installed ahead of the plant room installation. Once all the boilers and fuel store facilities were in place and tested the changeover to the main school occurred during October half term week so there was minimal disruption to the school during term time.

The internal pipe work in some parts of the main building required some attention as the hot water supply was ineffective and the heating was not getting to some areas of the building. 5D group incorporated some changes to this within the design of the new heating system and the hot water is now in good supply.

The initial Business Case indicated the fuel savings made from changing to wood pellet from oil together with the RHI income would provide a return on investment within 4 years. A year on the system is on track to achieve this saving so providing a significant long term saving to the school. The school are now planning to build a new sixth form block and this will also incorporate a Biomass boiler system.