Fairclough Hall Farm Estate

Wood chip biomass system replaces seven oil boilers, gains RHI accreditation & reduces fuel costs

Key Facts


Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Project included

  • Guntamatic 198kW Powerchip boiler system including a 3,000 litre thermal store
  • Distribution pipework including internal connections to heat exchangers

Fuel consumption

Approximately 54 tonnes of wood chips per annum

Fuel cost saving

Wood chips: 50-80% vs heating oil

CO₂ saving

Approximately 50 tonnes per annum vs heating oil

RHI payments

A project of this size would gain approximately £23,000 every year for 20 years, index linked to inflation

Total project cost



4-5 years (combining RHI income & fuel cost saving)

“Having experienced a few initial problems relating to recycled and poor quality fuel, Treco fully supported me. We subsequently switched back to virgin, good quality fuel within the G30 fuel standard and the plant is now operating correctly and at its full efficiency.”


Fairclough Hall Farm Estate includes a substantial farmhouse residence and estate office units. A former granary barn and outbuildings have now been converted into 11 high specification office rental units and a cafeteria, with plans to add more.

Although the client still farms the site and adjoining lands, diversification has taken place over a number of years to develop the farm base and its buildings into modern business rental units.

An enviable working environment in stunning rural surroundings, but within easy reach of road networks has been developed. With high specification and comprehensive on site amenities, client businesses have remained on site.

The challenge

The property and rental units were heated by eight oil boilers. Our brief was to design, install and maintain a high efficiency, fully automated biomass heating system.

Our custom solution

Treco supplied and installed two 99kW Guntamatic Powerchip boilers in cascade, with a fuel store, to send 198kW of heat to a 3,000 litre buffer tank. The heat, in the form of hot water, is distributed to each unit by a district heating pump. They have now been adapted by using bespoke SAV heating and hot water units with individual heat metering. The existing oil boilers have been retained for back up. To date, they have not been required. A second system has now been purchased.

A snapshot of the solution included:

  • Two top-of-the-range 99kW Guntamatic Powerchip biomass boilers in cascade
  • Biomass boiler linked to existing heating and hot water system
  • 3,000 litre thermal store
  • 2m agitator and 2.5m auger to enable a large enough fuel store to minimise fills
  • Fully automated wood chip fuel delivery system
  • 4 x Series 7 SAV Heat Interface Units
  • An RHI approved heat meter which records heat use in kWh (on which RHI payments are based) complete with certification
  • Assistance with RHI application including schematic drawings
  • Commissioning, programming and end user training

More details on this specific biomass boiler used on this installation can be found on the Guntamatic Powerchip page, with further details of our entire range available through the biomass boilers page.

The incentive

As well as delivering fuel cost savings of 50%-80%, the installation is now accredited for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and will receive payments of approximately £23,000 for the next 20 years.

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