The Biomass Burner at Kernock Park Plants

The Biomass Burner at Kernock Park Plants

With the continuing increase in the cost of oil and the need to reduce carbon emission it was decided in 2005 to investigate alternative heating methods using a biomass fuel. Several options were considered and, in the end, woodchip was preferred, taking into account availability of fuel and the technical knowledge of burning this fuel in Europe.

In November 2006 a 3MW centralised boiler unit was installed and commissioned at Kernock Park Plants. At the time, this boiler was one of the largest biomass boilers to be installed in Devon and Cornwall.

The capital cost of the boiler, building and distribution was partially funded under Objective 1 grant aid from DEFRA and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).The fuel is wood chip sourced as locally as possible and is deemed Carbon Neutral.
The 600,000 litres of Gas Oil previously used was replaced by around 2000 tonnes / year of chip from wood that has little other commercial use.

Five seasons In the five seasons’ heating there has been a steep learning curve how to handle the unit to get the best performance. In that time the industry has generally gained a lot of experience and today anyone considering a biomass burner can fall back on a great deal more technical knowledge. The quality of the chip is of paramount importance for size, moisture content and cleanliness. Some burners available today are able to take variable wood and other burnable waste material. These burners are, however, more expensive than conventional burners and may need a WID certificate which really adds to the cost.

Biomass, including straw and miscanthus, is not for everyone. Consideration must be given to the availability of the material and whether it can be delivered when it is wanted. If storing wood is necessary, as in Kernock Park Plants case, then a considerable area of ground is needed by the burner. Wood pellets is an option that has less maintenance but the current price means that the cost of fuel is only just less than light oil and more expensive than current gas prices. The production of CO2 from wood is being tested but is not sufficiently reliable at the moment to recommend installation. If CO2 is required, for the time being, the biomass burning route may be dubious.

Biomass, including straw and miscanthus, is not for everyone. Consideration must be given to the availability of the material and whether it can be delivered when it is wanted. If storing wood is necessary, as in Kernock Park Plants case, then a considerable area of ground is needed by the burner. Wood pellets is an option that has less maintenance but the current price means that the cost of fuel is only just less than light oil and more expensive than current gas prices. The production of CO2 from wood is being tested but is not sufficiently reliable at the moment to recommend installation. If CO2 is required, for the time being, the biomass burning route may be dubious.

Regeneration Heat Initiative

The introduction of the Regeneration Heat Initiative (RHI) for commercial use has now put another factor into considering biomass burning. RHI pays for burning biomass, assessed on energy used. The payment is guaranteed for 20 years and is index linked. Further information can be obtained from the Department of Energy & Climate Change website.

Even with this incentive, the decision to change to biomass needs to be taken carefully. Whatever the form of a dynamic fuel source, the burner will need ‘driving’ and many growers who want an easy life and probably do not use a great deal of fuel might still find a cheaper capital cost and ease of control, such as gas, a better option.

Shopping Cart:
Items:, Value:
+44 (0)1579 350561+44 (0)1579 350561
sales@kernock.co.uksales@kernock.co.uk

Popular Products

Sempervivum tectorum 'Rubin'

Sempervivum tectorum 'Rubin'

31.00

Deep burgundy-red rosettes.

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'

22.00

A perennial wallflower with numerous clusters of rich purple coloured flowers on long racemes from spring to summer.

Heuchera 'Cherry Cola' (P)

Heuchera 'Cherry Cola' (P)

47.50

As the name suggests, the leaves are mixed tones of rusty browns and reds.

Heuchera 'Marmalade' (P)

Heuchera 'Marmalade' (P)

47.75

A great garden performing amber coloured Heuchera. Spring foliage is more purple and summer becomes more red.

Echeveria elegans (flatter leaves)

Echeveria elegans (flatter leaves)

30.00

A good form of the increasingly popular bedding plants, with steely grey succulent foliage with bronze tinges and curious flowers in summer.

Popular Downloads

Surplus List

Surplus List

If you would like to order plants from our surplus (availability) list, or would like to view the list offline, print off this PDF Document and fax it back to the number shown on the print out along with you company name and the tray quantities you require or .

Liner List

Liner List

Please click here for our updated list of liners available from now and into the new year. All the information about numbers, discounts and order instructions are included.

Four Oaks Trade Show

Four Oaks Trade Show

Please click here to download your visitor invite for the Foar Oaks Trade Show.

BOPP AccreditedConcordia ApprovedInstaPlant - carpet bedding made easy! The official UK home of the Wollemi Pine Member of The Association of Liner Producers Member of Proven Winners Group