News from Biomass Energy NI
Biomass Energy NI Members Visit Mushroom Unit which uses Biomass Heat
Members of Biomass Energy Northern Ireland ( BENI) recently made a very interesting visit to the Focus Farm of Frank Donnelly, Keenaghan Mushrooms, Moy.
Frank installed a Froling Turbomat 150 kw boiler in 2007 and is currently saving over £15,000 per year in fuel bills for heating his 12 house mushroom unit. After funding the boiler, wood chip store and associated feed system, plus an underground district heating system to the mushroom house and farm dwellings, he estimates that he has achieved full payback in a little over 3 years. In terms of convenience and maintenance in Franks words “ this is as easy, if not easier, to run than the previous oil fired system”.
Any reasonably dry biomass can be used but at Keenaghan Mushrooms the fuel currently used is log timber bought in May and stored under tarpaulins to dry naturally before chipping by a contractor every 6 to 8 weeks. This chipped material requires no further treatment and is simply blown into silage trailers and then tipped into a simple concrete floored store close to the boiler feed hopper.
The Chairman of BENI, John C Martin pointed out that a mushroom farm is well suited to biomass heating because of the year-round demand while the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive to Northern Ireland from April 2012 will make biomass heating systems even more financially attractive. He also reported increasing demand for biomass to supply local authority heating systems throughout Northern Ireland.
BENI is one of over 30 Groups from throughout Northern Ireland and from many different sectors, who are currently being supported through the Supply Chain Development Programme. Aside from free professional advice the Programme provides assistance with arranging and funding a wide range of activities such as, training, legal and financial services, study tours, marketing support, website design, and supply chain efficiency tools .
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