YHA looks to biomass
The Youth Hostel Association (England & Wales) has installed biomass boilers at its head office in Matlock and its recently refurbished hostel at Pen Y Pass in Snowdonia. Consulting engineers Peace Marsh Associates specified Hoval biomass boilers with a Hoval UltraGas condensing boiler as back-up and to meet peak loads.
Andrew McBean of Peace March Associates, explains, ‘There were three aging gas-fired boilers at the head office in Matlock that needed to be replaced, and we suggested introducing biomass. In support of this, Hoval gave a presentation to the YHA’s property department to explain the details of biomass and allay any concerns.’
At Matlock a 110 kW BioLyt biomass boiler has been supplied, combined with an UltraGas condensing boiler and a thermal store, all located in a specially constructed external plant room. Wood pellets are stored in a breathable silo also supplied by Hoval. This installation acts as a reference site for hostel managers who want to understand more about how biomass heating might work in their facilities.
At the Pen Y Pass hostel, which has recently been refurbished and extended, there were four elderly oil-fired boilers that were proving very expensive to run. They have been replaced with a 160 kW BioLyt biomass boiler and a 150 kW UltraGas LPG boiler as back-up.
Peace Marsh Associates produced a detailed cost analysis for each project to ensure they met the YHA’s strict criteria. They also helped the YHA to obtain funding through the Energy Efficiency Financing program operated by the Carbon Trust and Siemens Financial Services, and managed the installation project as well as the Renewable Heat Incentive application process.
The YHA has now committed to using Hoval biomass boilers in future upgrades of heating plant.