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Case Study

Shebbear College and playing fields. Biomass boiler fit

Shebbear College

  • Biomass boilers
  • Yearly benefit - £70,908
  • 20 year benefit - £1,418,161

The Client

Located in rural North Devon, Shebbear College is an independent UK school; a co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. Notably, it is a member of the Methodist Group of Schools and therefore Christian values permeate all that they do. The Chapel of course, is a focal point in College life.

Furthermore, the College believes that traditional values strengthen an individual’s self-discipline and character. All things considered, this provides an awareness of the world and others, equipping young people for their lives beyond Shebbear. The school emphasises Christian values, encouraging responsibility, tolerance, commitment and respect for the individual and society.

In summary, Shebbear College prepares all its pupils for adult life. In particular, this includes challenging and expanding young minds and teaching both personal and social responsibility. They take immense pride in their pupils’ academic success and in shaping well-rounded, caring and well-motivated young adults. For these reasons, Shebbear students have a clear knowledge of right and wrong and are socially comfortable and confident individuals.

The Challenge

Shebbear College needed a biomass solution to supply heat and hot water to eight separate blocks. Two independent underground distribution networks were the means of distribution.

Each of the blocks needed a local control extension, electronically linking to its respective Biomass Boiler. These control extensions would control each building’s water heating pumps and valves, distributing heat using existing radiator systems. The valves also controlled hot water generation.

In addition, this advanced control technology would need internal and external sensors, varying the required heat supply. This addressed each building’s current demand, thus increasing proposed system efficiency across the site. As well as the control benefits, the system needed to be simple to use, with the user interface accessible via an internet portal.  Remote monitoring and parameter changes along with automatic fault notification via email would be additional benefits.

The Solution

For these reasons, IU Energy designed, supplied and installed a biomass energy centre. To clarify, the bespoke system consists of two ETA Hack 199kW boilers with a 5x5m twin woodchip agitator.

In addition, each biomass boiler has a stand-alone hydraulic system supplying heating water to a 2200l ETA accumulator tank. Additionally, there’s an RHI approved heat meter measuring total generation from each boiler.

We also installed 2 x 160kW oil boilers, supplying heating water to the ETA accumulator tanks for peak load or as back-up in the event of a fault.

A variable temperature export circuit sends heating water to highly insulated underground pipelines, which IU Energy also laid. These supply the separate blocks on the site. We also conducted extensive work in each block to optimise the system for maximum efficiency.

Finally, an ETA touch screen control system operates the boiler combustion and components, as well as all the peripheral pumps, valves and sensors. This advanced control technology uses data from across the site to calculate and vary the required heat demand. In turn, this reduces export temperatures throughout the underground pipeline network and increases overall system efficiency. The intuitive user interface is also accessible remotely.

As part of our standard service, IU Energy also prepared and submitted the RHI application to OFGEM on behalf of the College.

The Results

In short, delivery of the entire system was on-time, within budget –

  • Total cost benefit over twenty years £1,418,161
  • Total annual cost benefit – £70,908
  • System Payback – 4.3 years

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