Biomass system roars into life at Colchester Zoo

Bentley Fire Shop has supplied and installed its second fully containerised biomass system to Colchester Zoo, Essex. The Green Heat Module consists of a 199kW Hargassner HSV200 wood pellet biomass boiler, along with a fuel store, extract auger, as well as fill and vent pipes.

The new boiler was sited to heat the existing Lion enclosure, together with Colchester Zoo’s newest attraction, which simulates a rainforest for visitors to walk  through  to feed tropical Lorikeets. It will also provide heating and hot water services to various additional animal enclosures, as well as the main office facilities. The  installation  was the third in a series of biomass projects completed by Bentley Fire Shop’s Heating & Biomass division at Colchester Zoo – with the new Green Heat Module the  largest to date.

Commenting on the installation, Paul Maguire, Estate Manager at Colchester Zoo said: “Having installed a couple of biomass boilers already, we knew how  environmentally friendly and cost effective they were to run. This new containerised facility was the ideal choice for the latest project, as it makes the storage and  handling of the fuel easier and, as it’s a wood pellet boiler, there is far less waste compared to wood chips.”

The biomass system from Bentley is eligible for the non-domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI), providing up to 8.4p per kilowatt hour (kWhth) produced over 20  years. Paul continued: “It’s too early to tell what the savings will be from the boiler, but calculations have indicated that the RHI will more than cover the running  costs.”

Commenting on the Bentley Heating & Biomass team, Paul added: “Bentley Fire Shop are a good company and have provided a great service for all of the installations to date.”

The Green Heat Module is specially designed for applications where internal space for a biomass heating system is unavailable. The module is delivered fully fitted and is then linked to the distribution system via a single flow and return connection.

Gordon Bennett, Managing Director at Bentley Fire Shop, said: “By utilising a fully containerised heating solution, installation of the equipment is far quicker and reduces the downtime to the customer. This was ideal for Colchester Zoo, where they have a vast number of visitors every day, especially during the summer months when we installed the plant – so disruption had to be kept to a minimum.”

At the heart for the module is a 199kW Hargassner pellet boiler, which delivers highly efficient (>93%) heating with unparalleled levels of automation. The boiler also features fully automated ignition, automatic heat exchanger cleaning and an ash extraction system.

A standout feature of the Hargassner pellet boiler is Lambda sensor with fuel detection that optimises energy usage. The entire heating system, from combustion and buffer tanks, heating circuit to hot water tanks, is controlled through a user-friendly display panel, which is also suitable for the harshest of weather environments. The Green Heat Module is covered by a 25-year warranty for thermal and structural integrity as standard.