Biomass Boiler serving mulitple properties

Home Forum Chat Forum Biomass Boiler serving mulitple properties

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)
  • Biomass Boiler serving mulitple properties
  • richc
    Member

    Surely you have a contract in place? Look at that.

    Otherwise how did it work with your oils bills? As if they just divided it by 6, I should imagine that’s what they will do again but the overall bill will be smaller.

    My concern would be who is going to maintain and feed it? As the pellets need to be kept very dry or else the auger will get jammed.

    wrecker
    Member

    Insist on a heat meter.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Communal heating here. Ours basically has a water meter on the radiator system. So the total heating bill is split in the ratio of water meter usage, and in my case end apartments get a slight discount and middle apartments pay a fraction more.
    Actually have metered hot water too. So 5 meters in total, since hot/cold meters for upstairs and downstairs on separate feeds.

    andyl
    Member

    tbh it’s probably going to be a case of like it or lump it and move out. unless they can meter it somehow. Maybe a time counter on a solenoid valve etc.

    Seems very off of the landlord to change you to such a system without telling you but I would see if your bills do go down compared to the oil. The landlord has no doubt had considerable expense to install it and maybe it was either that or leave you with your individual oil systems as individual biomass systems would have been too expensive.

    If you are better off then good, if not then crank up your heating and get your moneys worth 😉

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Surely you have a contract in place? Look at that.

    Otherwise how did it work with your oils bills?

    We currently have separate tanks and boilers for each household- unifying the six houses together on one system is a new idea (probably grant application inspired) so its not covered in any existing contract

    cvilla
    Member

    Very possible that the bio-mass system, especially as a community one, may get Feed In Tarrif (domestic) or RHI renewable heat incentive for non-domestic=commercial, so landlord may get funds for fuel usage, but nowadays the fuel used needs to be metered, so each unit/house may get a meter.
    But I guess you just need to ask with landlord what arrangements are in place, subject to contract….etc, would be interested to hear more once you get details.
    The metering has to be done by accredited persons for the system to qualify for the monies, so hopefully your place will be separately metered.
    Other folk may know more…keep us posted if you can.

    trail_rat
    Member

    as above – would bother me as to whos dealing with the biomass equipment , feeding and ordering pellets – can all this be done automated – bear/stoner would be the folk to ask.

    be nothing worse than finding your out of pellets and its 6am monday morning in december adn there is 3 ft of snow on the road to your house…..been there with oil and that was my own stupid fault.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    keep us posted if you can.

    Will do

    I’ve no doubt theres some grant aid and feed-in tarrif inspiration for the project. Its not scheduled to be up and running before dec/jan so I won’t know what its like to live with before then but if we get better information I’ll post it up.

    be nothing worse than finding your out of pellets and its 6am monday morning in december adn there is 3 ft of snow on the road to your house…..been there with oil and that was my own stupid fault.

    Its a country estate we’re on and theres groundsman who’ll no doubt get this added to his joblist. I’ve done the out of oil and the truck can’t get to you thing too. -14 deg outside and sitting at the computer in a down sleeping bag and a deepsea divers thermal onesie.

    wrecker
    Member

    Heat meters are very common in district and multi tenant applications. They’re not even expensive. Doubtless the LL will be getting some RHI.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    bear of this ‘ere parish can give you the full lowdown on RHIs and community/district boilers if he has the time.

    Your consumption of hot water will be metered and you will only pay what you use (which if you continue with your usual pattern may not be a great deal). On the assumption that the net fuel cost per unit of energy is lower than when you were on oil AND/OR the landlord passes some of the RHI receipts on to the househoulders (unlikely) then your costs should be lower…

    SUBJECT TO (!)
    …additional generation and transmission losses between the boiler house and the calorimeter/heat meter in your house.

    Losses from the point of generation and the point of use would usually be funded equally by all the users. If the distribution is not very well insulated and losses are high, it is possible that your total costs might go up. It’s all in the quality of the specification and installation – as ever.

    If Ive got any of that wrong, bear will be bound to correct me for you.

    richc
    Member

    I have a biomasss boiler, and my concern would be the pellets as if you have a huge hopper for pellets, you need to ensure that they don’t get damp or else the fuel is ruined, which is much more difficult than protecting oil. Also the ash will need sorting out every couple of weeks.

    As for the flow meter on your rads, not sure I would be happy with that as once your rads are upto temperature its just circulating the already hot water so you wouldn’t be drawing much off the boiler (and hence not using very many pellets). So whilst they will be using more fuel that someone who rarely turns their heating on its not a straight forward comparison. As the person who rarely turns their’s on will not be recycling any hot water so will be drawing all of their heat out of the thermal store, thus using more pellets for the same volume of water in that instant in time.

    You really should have something in writing about how the costs will be split as its a huge change from shared boiler individual supplies.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    Also the ash will need sorting out every couple of weeks.

    really? I can burn 3-4 tons and only change the ash pan twice a year.

    sugdenr
    Member

    So…its a new idea not covered by agreement, and landlord tells you it ‘will be cheaper than oil’? Presume you have some data on your historic oil usage.

    Ergo, you cant be made to have something you didnt agree to, and your agreement can be predicated on paying no more than it would cost you in oil – based on oil price and historic consumption if not metered. Its quite normal for enegry contracts pricing to be pegged to the oil price.
    This must be a money making sceheme for landlord.

    sugdenr
    Member

    Doppleganger

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    It’s possible the landlord is doing it under the Green Deal policy .

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    This must be a money making sceheme for landlord.

    Nail on head.

    Although…… knowing them its more likely to be the tyranny of un-design than any kind of evil plot.

    gears_suck
    Member

    The pellets will be stored in a hopper which will auto feed to the boiler.
    Honestly, do you really think the system will not be designed to keep the pellets free from damp?

    bland
    Member

    heat meter? How does that work then? Can you not lag and refrigerate it?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Theres a little flurry of activity going on behind out courtyard and it seems a girt big biomass boiler is being installed by the landlord which will serve the 6 houses here.

    It’ll replace the individual oil fired systems the house have which is fine but…

    Theres a bit of vaguery going on with regards to how the heat to our individual houses will be controlled, metered and billed other than ‘it’ll be cheaper than oil’. Given they don’t know how much oil I use I don’t know how they can determine that. We use our heating quite sporadically and even though we both work from home we have our heating on less when we’re in than our neighbours do when they’re out so its a bit of a concern that the ‘metering’ is going to be more of a ‘going dutch’ where we end up paying for a portion of each of our neighbours plates of lobster even though we only had the soup.

    Anyone got experience of these sorts of larger communal systems?

    [cock it, wrong forum]

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    heat meter?

    It measures flow rate and temperature of the water. Probably does the same to the return water. It can then calculate how many Wh of energy has been used.

    richc
    Member

    really? I can burn 3-4 tons and only change the ash pan twice a year.

    This is my thinking but I could be wrong

    3-4 tonnes for one house = once every 6 months, and your house is very well insulated so uses less fuel.

    So for 6 houses, that would be ~ 24 tons (best case) so that’s 48000 pounds of fuel with 0.5% ash content, makes 240 pounds of ash (or ~ 109 kilograms)

    As this is all best case, so the real number would be much higher. So they would be lucky to only be emptying the ash every 6 months wouldn’t they?

    Edit: Also its worth noting who installed it, as I had to sack my initial installers and get someone else to finish it off (Stoner was very very helpful and gave great advice! which was/is much appreciated) as there are some installers who talk the talk, but can’t actually deliver. For example my pellet usage with the initial installer was panning out to be ~ 12-14 tonnes a year (£3000 –
    > £3500) and I was told this was totally normal and expected consumption for pellets, after it was re-installed I am now looking at ~5 tonnes (£1250) for exactly the same usage pattern.

    Craggyjim
    Member

    It measures flow rate and temperature of the water. Probably does the same to the return water. It can then calculate how many Wh of energy has been use

    Yes it has to measure the flow and the return temperature plus the flow rate. You can then calculate delta T multiplied by volume to get energy. Very common now.

    e.g. http://kamstrup.com/2736/MULTICAL-601

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    I fancy fitting one to my system one day.

    richc – who did you use in the end?

    wrecker
    Member

    Yes it has to measure the flow and the return temperature plus the flow rate. You can then calculate delta T multiplied by volume to get energy.

    they have an internal algorythm to calculate Q=mC deltaT. Generally these meters have an output in Wh.
    I would say to look closely at what you’re being billed per kWh and ensure it’s not daft.
    This;
    http://www.biomassenergycentre.org.uk/portal/page?_pageid=75,59188&_dad=portal
    Says about 4.2p/kWh, which isn’t far off gas. I’d expect there to be an uplift for the maintenance, and perhaps to recoup any investment made by the landlord. Regardless, make sure it’s less than you were paying for oil.

    richc
    Member

    I got Jaakko from Northmangroup to do the design, and then he recommended a plumber (in Swindon) to do the install and then he checked it at the end.

    Two days work, and its like night and day. It now actually works, I can now get hot water out of more than two taps simultaneousness, fuel consumption is down by around 60%, boiler room is no longer sat at 34-36 degrees constantly and I am not lugging two tonnes of bagged pellets into my store every 6 weeks and feeding the thing constantly. So pretty happy with it now 🙂

    The solenoid for the Self cleaner has packed up so I just have to source one now and it will all be working as it should 🙂

    If anyone needs a good plumber in/around Swindon I now have a recommendation 🙂

    TooTall
    Member

    As has been said before, this is all about a good installation. District heating & hot water have been around for a very long time and are still very common in several other Northern European countries. It will look good from the point of view of the landlord; maintaining 6 x discreet boilers and fuel systems compared to one (which is more efficient for the job than 6 smaller ones) system that attracts subsidies.
    Of course, having well-insulated buildings that are easy to use would be a first step – wouldn’t it?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    glad you’ve got it sorted rich.

    I swept my flue and cleaned the boiler this summer and have lit the furnace side a couple of times so far this autumn to top up the hot water and it’s drawing lovely.

    I dont have the self cleaner version of the Ulma – I have the old skool “shove the paddle” 🙂 Not a lot to go wrong. Certainly no solenoids!

    Bear
    Member

    Haven’t had time to read this but biomass is around 4-5p per kw oil around 8.

    It should be heat metered therefore each property will know how much they are paying.

    Premier Icon jamesybob
    Subscriber

    For the landlord it can make money through the RHI and as mentioned above to do this, each property must have a heat meter, as must the boiler. There is no fixed requirement for how the contracts work between tenant and landlord but often I would expect the landlord to basically sell the heat at a set cost unit, say 6p / kWh. The heat meter records what heat you actually use so you will pay for less units than you would for the oil as the boiler efficiency losses are not included in your heat meter. So you should pay less per unit and use less units for the same amount of heat. You need to agree a contract with the landlord and it would be wise to ask what back up will be available if the biomass goes down. You might be able to keep your oil boiler for instance and only use it in emergencies, or they might have a back up oil boiler for the community heating.
    Subject to getting a workable agreement out of the landlord I’d be pretty happy with this albeit they could have perhaps consulted the tenants a bit better.

    Bear
    Member

    Haven’t had time to read this but biomass is around 4-5p per kw oil around 8.

    It should be heat metered therefore each property will know how much they are paying.

    monsho
    Member

    Have been involved in several of these schemes (we supply the boilers)…

    Have one landlord selling the heat at 3.5p per kWh, you generally pay about 6p per kWh for oil, but that was a woodchip scheme, not pellets (generally cheaper fuel if done right).

    The landlord will get RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive), he’ll make some decent money from this, the scheme requires heat meters in each separate property and this is what the costs to you should be based on – you pay for what you use… but as said above its all about what contract they offer you – but they need you to use heat to get the grant to repay the generally substantial capital cost of a big biomass set up.

    Landlord will have to maintain the boiler to get RHI (Evidence of servicing), will have to keep it full of fuel too – if its not producing heat, and you all dont use it, he’ll not make money from it. It ‘should’ be a win win for all concerned if done right.

    Just commissioned a 199kW system today, will be saving the retreat centre about £20k a year on heating costs….

    b r
    Member

    We use our heating quite sporadically and even though we both work from home we have our heating on less when we’re in than our neighbours do when they’re out so its a bit of a concern that the ‘metering’ is going to be more of a ‘going dutch’ where we end up paying for a portion of each of our neighbours plates of lobster even though we only had the soup.

    Turn up the heating – you’ll have a warm house and it’ll cost you less as the neighbours are paying?

    Bear
    Member

    The way most of these types of installation work is the owner will be claiming RHI payments for the provision of heat energy. He will also be charging the end users for that heat (which is cheaper than oil so you are a winner too), however he will be potentially earning a lot of money by getting paid for the fuel twice.

    Saying that he needs to because the install cost will be eye watering, probably close to £100,000, maybe more.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    keep us posted if you can.

    So…. time has passed – we’ve been living in a mud bath while the contractors dig a moat around our houses to run the pipes but… a week or two ago we were switched to the new communal boiler


    The David Lynch Memorial Biomass Boiler and Hostage Facility

    After a bit of vagary about what the deal with us being connected was it became clear that the motivation from the landlords point of view is for us to use heat as freely and frequently as we can, based on, as suspected, them gaining subsidy for the metered heat delivered so the deal that was struck was we calculated our oil use of a year (approx £1k for us, some of our neighbours were paying nearer to £3k in smaller houses) and the ‘less than oil’ price was set at £600pa (£50/month)…. for as much or as little heat as we actually use – a bargain for us, a remarkable bargain for some of the other folk.

    So now we heat the house differently and its changed the character of the place – getting some heat into the concrete floors downstairs particularly. A much better hot water supply too as our old system was sort of a mix of on-demand and a small tank and could run neither a bath or a shower with much reliability.

    It’s also made the house quieter, the individual oil boilers we had were terrifically noisy – we never had ours set on timer as if it came on at night it would wake us up. In fact in the court yard pretty much everyones existing boilers pegged out during the last week or two before the switch over.

    I remember as I was growing up I had a mental image of what being grown up would be like and pictured the kind of house I might live in and cars I might drive, then after a term at college I mentally drew a line threw all that and replaced all my ambitions with ‘anything really so long as I can have warm bathroom’. Well, nearly a quarter of a century later…. my lifetimes ambition is realised. I’m now condemned to drift aimlessly with no further goals in life.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    😀

    Warmth!

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Warmth!

    It is weird – I think this is what being an adult feels like.

    Premier Icon paul4stones
    Subscriber

    That’s brilliant. Love our pellet boiler 🙂

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

The topic ‘Biomass Boiler serving mulitple properties’ is closed to new replies.