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The Challenge

The National Trust have a target to be carbon neutral by 2030. As part of this, the Trust have an ambitions scheme of renewable energy projects. 

The Solution

Over 750m of district heating pipework connecting into 16 historically sensitive properties. Installing 2 ETA biomass boilers, 1 x 350kW and 1 x 200kW.

The Benifits

The Belton House district heating network is now fully operational and running on biomass, helping to reduce their carbon emissions by an estimated 200 tonnes per year!

Project Summary

  • Biomass district heating network supplying 16 properties
  • Over 700m of underground pre-insulated high efficiency piping
  • Purpose built energy centre housing fuel store and two biomass boilers
  • Installation of 1 No. ETA 200kW & 350kW woodchip boilers
  • Working in & around one of the top 5 most visited National Trust sites in the UK.
  • Reduced Belton House carbon emissions by 200 tonnes of CO2 annually

The Challenge

The National Trust have a target to be carbon neutral by 2030. As part of this, the Trust have an ambitions scheme of renewable energy projects.

Belton House was been selected by the Trust for the installation of a biomass heating system after assessment against a number of key criteria based on the environmental, conservational and financial requirements of the site.

The site at Belton House contains a number of buildings, belonging to the National Trust, which requires a mixture of conservation and comfort heating. Operation of the heating system is critical to the conservation of the building and its contents, along with providing a source of localised heat to a number of domestic dwellings. This presents the Trust with a number of issues and risks these can be summarised as follows:

  • Belton House is a very popular destination attracting over 450,000 visitors a year
  • The site was largely heated by mains gas with a number of domestic properties on oil.
  • The house was heated by two ageing and inefficient gas fired boilers.
  • The remaining boilers on the site are all vary in age and efficiency
  • Belton House has one of the highest heating demands in the Midlands for the National Trust
  • The inefficiency of old equipment led to higher than necessary operating costs, and higher carbon emissions.

The Trust therefore chose to install a biomass district heating network, which itself presented challenges including:

  • Trenching over 700m for the installation of the district heating pipework
  • Access to Belton house is limited to one route in & out, and the only route which the district heating network could follow.
  • Many of the routes were right in the public eye, meaning management of the public through the installation was vital.
  • The route for the district main crossed a number of key operational bottle necks, meaning that careful planning had to be followed to ensure that we didn’t interrupt the ongoing operation of the site
  • The proposed biomass building was not fit for purpose, and yet the proposed plant location in The Woodyard is part of the historical village of Belton, so any new buildings needed to be sympathetic to the surroundings

The Solution

When working through the competitive tender, NerG identified a number of value engineering opportunities in the installation of the district heating scheme

These included:

    • Alternative district heating route to reduce disruption to the public and day to day operations of the site as well as save money
    • A bespoke new biomass building that has a custom built sliding roof so that deliveries of woodchip can be tipped by a tractor & trailer.
    • Reducing downtime during the transition from natural gas to biomass through innovative thinking of plumbing arrangements, including back-feeding heat between different properties.

Through the project, NerG installed the following:

    • 2 ETA biomass boilers, 1 x 350kW and 1 x 200kW
    • A brand new customised building.
    • Over 700m of district heating pipework
    • Connections into 16 historically sensitive properties
    • Providing heat for the opening of the new Belton Stables café.
    • Taking the district heating successfully across the main road and up the main drive of Belton with limited impact on day to day operations or visitor access
    • The removal of 16 natural gas boilers

The Benifits

The Belton House district heating network is now fully operational and running on biomass, helping to reduce their carbon emissions by an estimated 265 tonnes per year!

The site now have a purpose built plant room that enables the efficient management of fuel deliveries & loading, including having the facility to store up to 40T of woodchip at any one time

The biomass project was completed with minimal disruption to the ongoing operations of the site, and the site now have a state of the art high efficiency district heating system

Each property is connected back to the main plant room, and the system knows what energy is required in each property, regulating up and down to meet this demand meaning that losses from the network are minimised.

Testimonial NT