It is easy being green with a Grant biomass boiler
We revisit a factory in West Yorkshire which upgraded its existing heating system with a Grant biomass boiler just over two years ago. Installed under the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the Spira is not only keeping the factory warm but also significantly reducing the premises’ fuel costs and generating income for the owners.
Urban Cottage Industries Ltd chose to install a Grant Spria at their Factorylux and Prelogram HQ factory, based in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire in 2012. James Wilson from Urban Cottage Industries explained that prior to the installation of the 9-36kW Spira, the factory used space heaters which were “a spectacularly ineffective and costly way of not keeping warm in winter.” The Spira, however is a self-feeding and self-cleaning biomass boiler which has kept the factory (pictured below) cosy ever since it was installed. James comments, “it is an amazing thing.”
The Spira burns wood pellets that conform to the EN Plus Grade A1 standard. These premium pellets are produced from recycled or virgin timber from managed resources. They consist of compressed raw materials allowing them to deliver high combustion when burnt. Using advanced controls, the Spira regulates the amount of fuel being fed to the burner to match the heat demand of the boiler. Furthermore, with its patented technology, Spira models have an automatic self-cleaning system ensuring that the primary and secondary heat exchangers remain free of debris. Commenting on the boiler’s high efficiency, user-friendly features, and simple maintenance procedures, James says, “hats off to the manufacturers, Grant”.
As the boiler is MCS approved and it was fitted by MCS accredited G-One installer Halifax Renewable Energy, Urban Cottage Industries were able to claim the non-domestic RHI biomass tariff which financially rewards them for generating and using renewable energy to heat their building. James comments “the economic benefits of the RHI are unarguable. The heat-output from the boiler to the radiators is measured in KiloWatts per hour (kWh) and the figures are submitted online every quarter to the RHI register. The RHI multiplies the kWh by the applicable tariff (dependent on the boiler size and installation date) and transfers the money to our bank. The tariffs have come down since 2012 but once a tariff is set for a system, it is guaranteed for 20 years. We’re fixed until 2032!”
The income that Urban Cottage Industries is receiving from the RHI for the heat output produced by the Spira is offsetting the cost of wood pellets. Describing how many pellets the site uses, James writes, “the pellets cost around £240 per tonne. The most we have burned over a week is a tonne – in the darkest, coldest depths of a Yorkshire winter. But it is usually much less and, with two shifts, the heating is on for more than 16 hours a day.” Commercial premises, such as Urban Cottage Industries’ factory, naturally require larger inputs of fuel to meet their heat demands. In domestic environments, a high efficiency condensing appliance like the Spira would use between three and six tonnes of fuel per year (depending on the size of the boiler). James described their Grant Spira boiler as “very red, extremely green, eats trees, and keeps us warm.”
Grant biomass boilers have been popular in domestic homes since their launch and, at Urban Cottage Industries the Spira is proving itself in a commercial environment, sustainably supplying warmth and heat throughout the premises. As James says, “sometimes it is easy being green.”
The Grant Spira is available in outputs of 5 to 18kW, 6 to 26kW and 9 to 36kW. The boiler comes complete with a pellet hopper and feed auger, which automatically supplies the burner with fuel. There is also the option of increasing the output by utilising two boilers (separately flued) and a central hopper/twin auger arrangement. Using two boilers to achieve higher outputs is very cost effective. When the units are combined their precise electronic burner controls allow both units to modulate as one, down to just 25% of maximum load when the full output is not required.
Grant has also recently launched the innovative new SpiraPod Outdoor Boiler Housing for the Spira range, which allows for greater flexibility with installation. Designed and manufactured by Grant, the durable and fully weatherproof SpiraPod accommodates all Spira models from 5 to 36kW and is ideal where space is at a premium. What’s more, it has the additional benefits of a 190kg integral hopper and it neatly housing houses both the Grant wood pellet vacuum and sealed system kit too.
For more details on Grant biomass boilers and other Grant renewable products, please click here.