Biomass boiler-cooker/range in a traditional Welsh farmhouse in Llansadwrn, West Wales

Biomass boiler-cooker/range in a traditional Welsh farmhouse in Llansadwrn, West Wales


Property Type and Location

Andy, his partner and their daughter live in this beautiful four bedroom stone cottage, a traditional Welsh farmhouse in the rural village of Llandsadwrn, Carmarthenshire, West Wales. A solid fuel (anthracite) Rayburn located in the kitchen/living room provided their heating and hot water. As beautiful as the Rayburn was, it was un-automated and therefore labour intensive, messy and inefficient to run. During their first winter in their new farmhouse, Andy had to get up early every morning to stoke up the old Rayburn and warm up their home in time for breakfast. He trekked outside to the bunker to collect the coal, reloaded the range, then waited for the house to heat up. He had to make sure the Rayburn was riddled and the coal topped up several times a day, and the ash removed and disposed of. Heating their home was dirty, hard work and the Rayburn needed constant attention. One winter was enough! They wanted a cleaner, less labour-intensive method of heating their otherwise comfortable farmhouse. They’d heard about the Renewable Heat Incentive, a scheme that pays home owners and businesses to generate energy from renewable sources such as biomass, and decided to investigate further.

rural property biomass renewable heating installation


Birds’ Hill Solution

Nick Cater, Director at Birds’ Hill Biomass, visited the farmhouse and talked through the options for an automated biomass heating systems with the couple. One of their options was to install an efficient wood pellet utility boiler located in the outhouse, removing the Rayburn and creating more space inside the home. But the couple wanted to keep the ‘Rayburn-look’ in the kitchen and chose the Traditional Cream Klover Smart 120 wood pellet boiler-cooker. The fully automated controls allow them to programme their heating and hot water supply. This model also has an oven and hot plates for cooking. The biomass boiler-cooker is similar to the Rayburn, but more efficient, cleaner and runs on sustainably sourced fuel.  

Nick also explained the economic benefits of available through the Renewable Heat Incentive, including free fuel for 7 years and an excellent return on investment, as well as the environmental advantages of switching from coal to biomass. 

Upgraded heating controls and domestic hot water cylinder.  

[We’ve also installed an Air Source Heat Pump in their self catering cottage next door]

New Renewable Heating System Benefits

New Renewable Heating System Benefits 

  • Automated heating and hot water system 
  • Cleaner and much easier to operate 
  • Low carbon heating and hot water through a sustainable and legal fuel source 
  • Rapid return on investment through the Domestic RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) 
  • Free heating for 7 years plus index linked income 

 


Installation

Technical Director, Brendan Klein-Breteler was on site for the duration of the installation – coordinating the works and carrying out the disconnection of the old Rayburn; preparation works for the new system, including installing a new hot water cylinder and upgraded controls; and installing and commissioning the Klover Smart 120 boiler-cooker. During the installation efforts were made to re-use the existing (2-year-old) flue liner but ultimately this had to be replaced with a new liner. 

The Klover Smart 120 biomass boiler-cooker was going into an alcove which would not provide sufficient space each side for ongoing servicing and maintenance work. So Firepower Heating (the Klover UK distributor) supplied an “alcove kit” which consists of a heavy metal base and runners with flexible plumbing connections that allows the boiler-cooker to be rolled out of the alcove. For ease of use this then required some modification to the plinth

Running the System

Andy’s comments 

We’re really pleased with our new heating system. We wanted to get away from using fossil fuel, but loved the traditional look of our old Rayburn, which was the heart of our home. We were delighted when Nick showed us the Klover Smart 120 because it meant we could keep the traditional look and feel of Rayburn radiating away in the kitchen inglenook, but have the convenience of a timed system. With the Rayburn, if we went away for the weekend we’d return to a cold home. We’d have to empty the firebox and wait two hours for the fire to get going and warm up the house. With the Klover, we can turn the heating off when we are not in, and time it to come on before we get back. We’ve baked cakes and roasted a leg of lamb in the oven too. The house is cleaner because the Klover generates less dust than the Rayburn and far less ash. What’s more, we can put the ash on the garden instead of carrying it to the end of the drive for the council to collect. 

Funding

Nick Cater, Director at Birds’ Hill Biomass explained the economic benefits of available through the Renewable Heat Incentive, including free fuel for 7 years and an excellent return on investment, as well as the environmental advantages of switching from coal to biomass. 

The costs of the new boiler cooker and wood pellet fuel are fully covered by the Renewable Heat Incentive. After an upfront payment of £12,000, the couple will receive payments for 7 years through the scheme, paid in quarterly instalments. These will repay the capital in 3 years and then provide a tax-free income for 4 years thereafter. Aside from a significant and rapid return on their investment, the couple now have a cleaner, greener and much easier method of heating their home.

Nick sat down with the couple and completed the paperwork required for MCS (Micro Certification Scheme – required for biomass boilers etc.) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) application.