We took a big leap forward at Lendrick Muir this February with the commissioning of our new Biomass Boiler and Building Management System, which will help us better care for the environment, improve our efficiency, and (in the long run) save money!
Biomass heating technology is the process of burning biological matter, primarily woodchip and wood pellets, to produce heat like a conventional boiler. They're not totally new to Lendrick Muir as we did have a small biomass boiler heating roughly one quarter of the centre, with two old oil boilers heating the rest. The new biomass boiler comes with some incredible green credentials, most notably that we will produce 97 tonnes less C02 per year. All the woodchip we burn is produced from sustainably managed Scottish forests and is as locally sourced as possible. As well as a new biomass boiler to produce heat and hot water throughout the centre we have a new oil boiler as a back-up if the biomass fails.
The new oil boiler is roughly 30% more efficient than the old ones so for the rare occasions we do need to use fossil fuels we are doing so much more effectively. In conjunction with the new boilers we have split the entire centre into 17 "zones" which can all be heated independently. This greatly increase the efficiency of the building as we no longer need to heat zones that are not being used at quieter times of the year. It is also more intelligent: we installed thermostats across the centre meaning the heating will self regulate in certain zones once that zone has reached temperature, rather than just one point in the building (as it used to be). The investment required to make all this happen has been substantial but the combination of the government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, the fact that woodchip is cheaper per kilowatt/hour produced, the zoning that increases building efficiency and the massive reduction in C02 production, it was, as they say, a no-brainer!