Swapping biomass for ground source

BBE

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
I have a 4 year old 180kw biomass system that is causing me some problems. I'm now also facing increasing maintenace costs and am contemplating cutting my losses and replacing, potentially, with ground source. Heating 2 large houses, one old drafty farmhouse, one modern new build, and a workshop. All now linked by insulated underground pipework with a 20000 litre insulated buffer tank. The biomass & buffer tank are close to a 4 acre paddock. My questions are; is any of the existing infrastructure transferable? could anyone give me an idea of potential costs and ROI? should I be looking at another alternative?
 

akaPABLO01

Member
You can dump the biomass or sell it on.

If you dump it you request to be removed from biomass rhi

Install gshp and use the current district network pipework. The people helping you to complete the rhi for gshp would need to know the insulated pipe size, make and model for heat loss calculations with meters everywhere.

Reapply for rhi.

Now the thing is you are currently paid
180x 1314 tier 1

The heat pump should be slightly bigger than the biomass, not much, but bigger due to temp difference. This is your sticky point here. If the installers were honest and done a correct heat loss requirement and didn’t over egg the size of the biomass to help you profit more? So sticking a wet finger in the air and pulling a 180kW biomass off the shelf because it helps the selling point then it’s ok.

BUT, if you have another heat loss requirement done and it comes in at say 100kW gshp then you may face a site audit as the gshp should in reality be 190/200 in comparison to the biomass.

Then again I may be complementing Ofgem investigation and compliance checks. Will they be alarmed that you’ve had a 25/40% decrease? Your guess is as good as mine?

You’ll need new metering also.
 

BBE

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
Is there a market for used Biomass? Any installers doing both, I may have a better chance of selling the biomass if I'm purchasing a replacement GSHP from the same company?
 

akaPABLO01

Member
biomass boilers are crap. They are a pain in the arse to fuel in a cost explosive market were fuel can cost as much as LPG. We disconnect them all the time for banks with people claiming they’ve been miss sold due to high cost of fuel and/or false rhi payments. The banks just write them off and they are left on site as scrap.

You’ll have more luck finding hens teeth then selling that I’m afraid.

You could possibly go down the miss sold route if your figures don’t marry up?
 

BBE

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
biomass boilers are crap. They are a pain in the arse to fuel in a cost explosive market were fuel can cost as much as LPG. We disconnect them all the time for banks with people claiming they’ve been miss sold due to high cost of fuel and/or false rhi payments. The banks just write them off and they are left on site as scrap.

You’ll have more luck finding hens teeth then selling that I’m afraid.

You could possibly go down the miss sold route if your figures don’t marry up?
Does this still apply if approved to burn straw? Should still be a decent return in the right situation.
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
biomass boilers are crap. They are a pain in the arse to fuel in a cost explosive market were fuel can cost as much as LPG. We disconnect them all the time for banks with people claiming they’ve been miss sold due to high cost of fuel and/or false rhi payments. The banks just write them off and they are left on site as scrap.

You’ll have more luck finding hens teeth then selling that I’m afraid.

You could possibly go down the miss sold route if your figures don’t marry up?

That is a bit negative! I know at least 3 biomass installations that have been pretty successful and have already repaid the investment. On mine the pellet costs have increased and the others burn a day or two more logging work than the installers would have had you believe but overall we are all pleased. Not sure the lower RHI rates available today would be as attractive but pulling out a biomass boiler before the RHI payments have expired needs careful thought. I would be more worried about installing a ground source heat pump, I know of one that burns through an insane amount of electric and that is on a highly insulated new build property, not a drafty old farmhouse!
 

akaPABLO01

Member
Does this still apply if approved to burn straw? Should still be a decent return in the right situation.
Not as easy as some random buying it. It’s commissioned to do a purpose. What is yours, multiple domestic properties on district heating? Then the buyer has to warrant heating their homes on 180kW heat load. Plus, that size boiler is only good for that.
 

akaPABLO01

Member
That is a bit negative! I know at least 3 biomass installations that have been pretty successful and have already repaid the investment. On mine the pellet costs have increased and the others burn a day or two more logging work than the installers would have had you believe but overall we are all pleased. Not sure the lower RHI rates available today would be as attractive but pulling out a biomass boiler before the RHI payments have expired needs careful thought. I would be more worried about installing a ground source heat pump, I know of one that burns through an insane amount of electric and that is on a highly insulated new build property, not a drafty old farmhouse!
They are a good heating purpose but in the right application.

This is how these scenarios play out;

Either a customer sees an advertisement or friend of a friend or own research finds out about RHI subsidies.

Then a salesman appears. These come in 3 forms, independent of installers, with installers, installer.

The first is the dodgy one, these shysters know bugger all, they stick a wet finger in the air and weigh up an area and price a system. Now these guys work on a finders commission and the bigger the boiler the more teeth whitening treatments they can have.

What this means is when rhi returns are shown as they used to be - size of boiler bigger return. Problem is though, they cost a lot more to run then anticipated, along the lines of DOUBLE what the customer used too. This eats into profits as there’s not enough heat demand so thermal stores heat up quicker rhi is lower.

After a few years of paying the loan, the delay in rhi payments, the realisation “feeding this boiler is a pain in the arse, why did I buy this?”

Then after not being able to get hold of the shyster because he’s looooong gone they try the installer number...they’ve buggered off too. Regret sets in, the figures don’t stack up.

Then we get a call and carry out calculations and tell them your investment is negative.

Rinse, dry, repeat.

Lastly, biomass isn’t even a damn renewable it’s a recycler and shouldn’t even be leaching rhi coffers, should have only been thermal and compressors. Real plug and play systems no maintenance.

The other 2 options are 50/50

Your mate with the gshp hasn’t got it configured correctly, either set up or user fault.

Use references.
 

chickens and wheat

Member
Mixed Farmer
its no big strain to feed a pellet boiler, just order pellets. overall reliability so far is no worse than gas heaters

for poultry atleast is very simple as the heat demand is consistent all day/night.

Saying that new project here is gshp for the shed thats not on biomass
 

akaPABLO01

Member
its no big strain to feed a pellet boiler, just order pellets. overall reliability so far is no worse than gas heaters

for poultry atleast is very simple as the heat demand is consistent all day/night.

Saying that new project here is gshp for the shed thats not on biomass
Lol biomass in a chicken shed, like generating 90° heat?? Lol what a waste, for drying floors yeah. Wasted on homes, just not needed, a backward step in heating advancement. You only ever need 50° for heating circs, ufh works very well at their 35° maximum. Every night the hot water is heated to 65°, plenty enough. Chicken sheds work well and theirs plenty of roof for solar.
 
I have a 4 year old 180kw biomass system that is causing me some problems. I'm now also facing increasing maintenace costs and am contemplating cutting my losses and replacing, potentially, with ground source. Heating 2 large houses, one old drafty farmhouse, one modern new build, and a workshop. All now linked by insulated underground pipework with a 20000 litre insulated buffer tank. The biomass & buffer tank are close to a 4 acre paddock. My questions are; is any of the existing infrastructure transferable? could anyone give me an idea of potential costs and ROI? should I be looking at another alternative?
I could find you a buyer for this - we currently service ~800 commercial biomass boilers across the UK, we have plenty of customers looking for an additional boiler
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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