Wellfield School Wood Heating Feasibility Study
Looking into the feasibility of installing a wood-fuelled boiler to heat a school in Lancashire.
Project duration: June 2004 to September 2004
The main aim was to produce a feasibility study into the opportunities for wood fuel heating available to Wellfield High School in central Lancashire.
The study compared the relative merits of installing a wood fuel boiler plant as compared to a gas-fired boiler plant, including full costings, design, maintenance and fuel supply issues.
The methodology was as follows:
- desk-based data analysis: in order to build up a background understanding of the heating requirements of the site, a detailed analysis of energy data from Wellfield School was undertaken
- site visit: following the data analysis, a detailed site assessment and engineering survey was conducted to assess sizing, fuel storage, hot water and heating circuit arrangement
- fuel options appraisal: discussions were held with the county council and the school to clarify the underlying drivers for installing a wood fuel heating system and identify whether priority should be given to local fuel sources, virgin wood chip, recycled wood waste, etc
- systems options appraisal: a systems options appraisal for two preferred fuel options was then conducted. This included full technical specifications, market availability of equipment, technical options for plant operation and any site modifications likely to be required
- economic options appraisal: a full analysis of costs associated with each of the preferred options was presented, including breakdowns of capital and running costs, economic comparison with gas-fired plant and payback calculations
- environmental and planning assessment: an assessment of environmental impact and planning issues associated with the preferred options was undertaken
The study was completed at the end of summer 2004. Subject to emissions approval by the local environmental health office, the study found that a wood-fired boiler installation with gas back-up is a technically feasible and economically attractive option when compared to an all-gas plant.