Case Study - Kirkdale Manor


Courtesy of LandEnergy Limited

“In today’s climate of escalating oil prices and concern for the environment, Kirkdale Manor stands as a testament to forward thinking.”

John Greenway, MP for Ryedale, speaking at the opening of Kirkdale Manor Biomass Energy Centre.

Kirkdale Manor is a spectacular residential development on the edge of the village of Nawton, 3 miles east of Helmsley, North Yorkshire, set in extensive private grounds with mature gardens and woodland. The former manor house was in need of structural repair before it was restored by Kirkdale Developments and transformed into 9 luxury apartments while retaining the character and original features of the building. The outbuildings and stables have been converted into a further 16 houses. The environmentally sensitive development has been fitted with above-average insulation to improve energy efficiency and also incorporates a £25,000 rainwater harvester which recycles water for non potable uses such as WC flushing, garden watering and car washing.

Biomass Heating Scheme
A biomass community heating scheme has been installed as an alternative to new conventional individual gas boilers. The scheme comprises a single biomass boiler which supplies hot water and heating to all 25 properties on the Kirkdale Manor Development through a community heating system of pre-insulated underground pipes. This eliminates the need for individual gas boilers and hot water storage in each of the properties and helps to maximise the usable space within the development. Hot water and heating are available to residents on demand at any time of day or night.

Energy Centre
The boiler system and fuel bunker are housed within a specially designed energy centre building in the grounds of the manor. The unique design of the Kirkdale Energy Centre helps to reduce the carbon footprint of Kirkdale Manor by reducing the number of deliveries made per annum. The energy centre is situated partly underground and has a sliding roof so that large articulated trailer loads of fuel can be easily dropped into the bunker. The use of an underground bunker improves the visual impact of the energy centre building. The visible part of the building is timber clad so it blends attractively with its woodland surroundings.

Equipment summary

  • Boiler : Lin-KA Type P-250
  • Power rating : 250 kW
  • Energy efficiency : 95%
  • Heat output maximum : 550mwH per annum
  • Fuel type : locally sourced wood pellets
  • Fuel feed system : fully automated thermostatically controlled fuel feed system. When
  • required, the chip is fed from the bunker by a moving floor into an auger system which feeds the boiler.
  • Ash removal : ash is removed from the boiler by an auger and deposited into an exterior collection bunker which is emptied every 2 months.
  • Heat distribution : pipe work manufactured by Logstor A/S
  • Back-up gas boiler : A Remeha Gas 310 Eco A gas boiler has been also been installed to operate as a back-up for times of service and cleaning.

The construction of the Energy Centre building and installation of the pipe work for the district heating system were completed in under 5 weeks ready for delivery of the Lin-KA boiler. The boiler installation took one week and was completed by 8th October 2007. Due to the abundant local supply of wood chip and rural location with plenty of space for storage and access, wood chip was the natural choice of fuel. The boiler uses approximately 130 tonnes of wood chip per annum with a moisture content just below 30%. The wood fuel is sourced from private estates within a 10 mile radius of Kirkdale Manor. The timber is chipped locally and then led by tractor and trailer to the energy centre by a local agricultural contractor. The integral fuel bunker has been designed to store large loads of 12.5 tonnes and the energy centre is constructed partially below ground with a unique sliding roof design which allows fuel to be dropped down into the bunker from large articulated trailers approaching from a level access. This all contributes to an easier and more efficient fuel delivery.

Maintenance & billing
The anticipated boiler lifespan is 25 years and the life for the distribution pipe work is at least 50 years before refurbishment is needed. LandEnergy manages boiler maintenance and fuel supply for Kirkdale Manor. LandEnergy also sources the wood chip locally and then sells the heat (in p/kWh) to the residents of Kirkdale Manor.

The cost of the biomass heating system and district heating scheme was met by Kirkdale Developments. Kirkdale Developments have been awarded a grant by Defra under the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme.

Carbon savings
On average, the biomass boiler delivers 502 MWh heat per annum (or 502,000 kWh). As the biomass boiler was installed as an alternative to natural gas installations and standard CO2 emission figures are 0.19kg CO2 per kWh, the carbon emissions using a gas boiler would be 0.19 x 502000 = 95,380kg per annum. As biomass is classed as carbon neutral, this equates to over 95 tonnes of CO2 saved per annum.

Summary of benefits and conclusions
The Kirkdale Manor Biomass Heating Scheme is an excellent example of the practicability of the technology for delivering low carbon energy in a rural area.

Sourcing fuel locally benefits the rural economy and reduces costs and carbon emissions from haulage.

Further cost and carbon savings are made as the energy centre can accommodate large deliveries.Fuel deliveries are undertaken without noise or disruption to residents, and there is no dust, or fumes from the energy centre.

Kirkdale Manor residents enjoy peace of mind as their heating costs remain stable while the price of fossil fuel continues to rise. Hot water and central heating is available on demand at any time of day or night.

One of the benefits of this community heating scheme from the point of view of both a developer and the resident is that it makes better use of the residential space in the development. By avoiding the need to make space for individual boilers and hot water storage, this has also helped to increase the useable space for the individual properties.

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