We are on our third day of turnaround, fitting three 75KW Climatec XHeat heaters to each 300′ x 80′ house on the site. They look a bit weird, like they are hovering there, don’t they?
All the house pipework is stainless steel with a twenty year warranty. One of our guys, Jerry, is still on site powerfloating the boilerhouse concrete slabs — he is hoping to be finished by ten tonight. We haven’t left before 7pm each evening so far. Trevor and Dak will be there tomorrow morning at six to get ahead of us with drop rods and clips for a couple of hours
We should get our fourth house wrapped up tomorrow. Then next week is pod production, and the week after we have six more poultry houses to do at Martock, as well as shoehorning a 70KW pellet boiler into a country house near Sutton Montis. They are desperate for the new boiler, as their oil boiler is getting through about £1200 a month in kerosene. Changing over to pellets should just about half that, as well as attracting a decent RHI payment.
Boilerhouse and fuel store integrated into poultry house
All the cladding is now finished and the sheds are looking very smart. In the photo above you can see the extension we built onto the end of the poultry house to form a fuel store to the right and a boilerhouse to the left. In addition to this we extended the roof over the ridge and down the other side to form a catchers tunnel.
We have a few finishing touches to do to the pipe insulation and various bits of trim, but the biomass boilers are up and running, heating the sheds.
This is a short film taken at the Axbridge farm where we have installed four Eta Hack 200 biomass boilers that have been modified to burn miscanthus instead of wood chip. As you can see, the poultry houses have been extended to integrate the boiler and its fuel store into the building with a wireless remote control lid to the store so that the grower can operate it without having to leave his cab.
One of the drawbacks of using miscanthus as fuel is the vast quantities of dust that comes off the fuel as it is chopped and also whenever you move it. Not only is it a fine choking dust that gets everywhere, it’s also an explosion risk. Should a dense cloud of dust meet with a static spark or a naked flame there is a substantial risk of it suddenly combusting, which in a confined space like the fuel store would cause an explosion that would rip the building apart. We advised the client that all metal in the vicinity of the store should be properly earthed, and that the loader he uses to fill the bunker should have an earth dragline fitted to reduce the risk of static discharges.
We have just received another order for four Eta Hack 200 boilers from a broiler farm near Wells, Somerset, which will take us up to Christmas. Chances are that any others will have to wait until the new year. Reason being, the Eta factory in Austria is running at full capacity for the larger boilers, 130 and 200kw. Even with running night shifts their lead time is already stretching into mid December for orders placed today. We might just be able to cram one more project in.
Later this week we start another project of five Eta Hack 200 wood chip boilers at a farm near Martock. This grower was recently featured in Poultry World magazine because of the 800kw Heizomat boiler he had installed (not by us) on his other site. As far as I know, he is happy with the boiler and the installation, but the numbers don’t add up the same for running one big boiler instead of four smaller ones. In his case, we worked out the RHI will pay him just over a million pounds less in subsidy on his 800kw Heizomat over the twenty year term than he will get from four Hack 200 boilers. The initial installation cost is slightly more expensive, but it’s tiny in comparison to the difference in the RHI payments.
So it looks like I’m going to be busy right up until Christmas, what with piping-up poultry houses, fitting boilers and commissioning them, I can’t imagine having much time to play with in the interim.
A short film showing Nigel Dunn at work. He chipped six month’s worth of fuel for Savage Cat Farm in the course of a day. By the time he left the barn was bulging.
This chipper is an amazing piece of kit. You put whole tree trunks in one end and G50 chips come out of the other at a rate of knots. If you’ve ever seen the film ‘Fargo’ it makes that chipper look like something out of a Christmas cracker. If Peter Stormare’s character had one of these things then he would never have been caught by the police while pushing down on the socked foot of Steve Buscemi’s stubborn leg.
I can’t imagine somebody who owns one of these machines would have any late payers on their accounts. You just wouldn’t risk it, would you?
All joking aside, it is quite expensive to hire this machinery and its operator, but the sheer quantity of chip they produce makes it worthwhile. He started the day with a near empty barn and a pile of timber fifteen feet tall and ninety feet long. By the end of it the barn was full, and the farm has enough fuel to last the winter and well into the spring of 2013.
These Big Dutchman Heatmaster convectors get suspended from the roof along the ridge line of the house, three in each of the 25,000 bird sheds. They are typically mounted one metre from the floor and throw out heat in six directions. Working range per side is 13 metres. I was impressed by the small size of the heaters, and by how quiet they are in operation.
Commercial Biomass Partnership spent a long weekend installing the pipework to these Drapervent units. All four sheds were plumbed in four days over this turnaround. We could have managed it in three days if the scissor lift platforms had worked as intended and Pipeline Center Bristol had actually delivered the gear we ordered three weeks ago. We got male iron fittings instead of female ones, 22mm reducers instead of 28mm reducers, 42mm elbows instead of the 35mm elbows we ordered, etc., etc. Some of it never turned up at all. Despite the setbacks we pushed on, sourced what we needed elsewhere and got the job done on schedule. Some people use setbacks as an excuse to fail, but it’s far more satisfying to overcome the problems and push on against the odds. I think thats the mark of a good team.
One of the duff scissor lift platforms — the charger didn’t work, and neither did the engineer’s key to his depot
With us you get the whole package under one umbrella of management.
Here at Axbridge we are installing another four Eta Hack 199kw wood chip burning boilers. We have extended the existing poultry houses to incorporate boiler house and fuel store, as well as a catching tunnel. We also organised diverting drainage pipework, the re-siting of a rainwater culvert, the digging out of as bank and the building of a retaining wall to provide better access to house number one.
The first two boilers are scheduled to be up and running by mid September.
We have extended the existing structure to form the boiler house and fuel store
Didn’t quite get them all finished by the end of the week, but we are three quarters of the way there. My biggest problem is my phone doesn’t stop ringing, but against the backdrop of the biggest recession since the Great Depression I really can’t complain about being busy, can I? We are now the biggest installers of Eta Hack 200 boilers in the UK. Our workforce has expanded to meet the demands of the order book and we continue to refine our processes to streamline installation, so that it can be as efficient as the Eta boilers we are installing.
The workshop took delivery of another four frames for our biomass pods. These should be finished and ready for delivery by the end of the week. Once they are cleared away the workshop will be taking delivery of another five pod frames that are destined for another broiler grower at Martock.