High Bickington C of E Primary School Biomass Boiler

“I would like the information as to why High Bickington C of E Primary School when attaching to the Community Centre did not connect to the biomass boiler; apparently DCC engineers made a report on this.”

Extract from the Mechanical and Electrical engineers report and a summary narrative that adds some clarity is provided below:-


5.1 District Heating

There is an existing district heating connection to the community centre, served by an energy centre located within the village. It has been determined that the heating services from the Energy Centre to the existing building has insufficient capacity to serve the new development. The existing pumps are running beyond their maximum duty and the pipes have no further capacity.

The biomass boiler and associated gas boiler are likely to have sufficient capacity, however, due to the lack of capacity beyond, no further consideration has been given to the use of this for the new development.

The biomass boiler is located in its own building within the courtyard of the local centre which is about 100m away (as the crow flies) from the community centre building. The new single classroom is attached to the community centre. There are heating mains from the biomass boiler plant to the separate plant room in the community centre. In the community centre plant room a heat exchanger is fitted (photo) and from here a conventional wet heating system serves the heating distribution of the community centre. The heating mains that serve the community hall were not sized sufficiently to serve the future expansion of this building into a one, or ultimately predicted five classroom school, hence the decision to specify its own heating source i.e. the gas boiler.

Our opinion is that should the five (four further) classrooms be built, then there may be an option to look at the cost of increasing the heating main size (and increasing pump duty size) from the biomass boiler to the school and fitting our own heat exchanger and keeping the existing gas boiler as an emergency backup should the biomass ever fail.