Hillfields Farm Estate

Hill Fields Farm

Overview

Hill Fields Farm is a complex of former farm buildings near the village of Lower Basildon in the Royal County of Berkshire. Nigel Steljes, technology entrepreneur and founding chairman of Steljes Ltd, purchased Hill Fields Farm in 2006 with a view to using the house as his permanent residence whilst running other buildings on site as rental accommodation. Before his acquisition there had been few or no changes in the building performance or energy provision for some years. The oil heating situation in particular was not compatible with a cost-effective overall operation.

The new owner realised that a major re-think of energy systems was required to bring costs back to a reasonable level. At the same time he was very interested in promoting the sustainability agenda, both for the corporate benefit of his business, and to put his own concern for environmental issues into practice through a meaningful investment in new technologies.

Hill Fields Farm - Herz

Technology

It was decided that Rural Energy Ltd of Leicestershire would be contracted to install a 220 kW Herz Biomatic 220 BIOCONTROL boiler system, with an additional heat buffer tank. This boiler would provide around 90% of heat demand on this site.

A solar thermal system was also installed as the biomass boiler is switched off in the summer as it can be uneconomical to keep a boiler running when the need for large amount of heating decreases. The solar thermal system would then provide all of the hot water and swimming pool heating as required.

Hill Fields Farm - Akvaterm

Economics

It was decided that Rural Energy Ltd of Leicestershire would be contracted to install a 220 kWthHerz Biomatic 220 BIOCONTROL boiler system, with an additional heat buffer tank. This boiler would provide around 90% of heat demand on this site.

A solar thermal system was also installed as the biomass boiler is switched off in the summer as it can be uneconomical to keep a boiler running when the need for large amount of heating decreases. The solar thermal system would then provide all of the hot water and swimming pool heating as required.

Host Feedback / Importance of Technology

The new biomass boiler will save 160 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and in excess of 3,000 tonnes over its 20 year lifetime.  The wood fuel is being sourced locally, and so assists the rural economy and the good management of local woodland brings diversification within these areas, retaining income inside the local economy.

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