Menchine Poultry Farm

Containerised biomass boiler solution heats 6 poultry houses, improving stock welfare and reducing farm input costs

Key Facts


Tiverton, Devon

Project included

  • 4 x Guntamatic Powerchip 100kW biomass boilers
  • Each supplied pre fitted in a 40 ft high cube shipping container
  • Heats 6 separate poultry houses with indirect water-air and underfloor heating
  • Replaces LPG
  • Runs on wood chips, which are sourced locally

Fuel consumption

Approximately 160 tonnes of wood chips per annum

Fuel cost saving

50%-80% per kWh vs LPG

CO₂ saving

Approximately 120 tonnes per annum vs LPG

RHI payments

A project of this size would gain approximately £46,000 every year for 20 years, index linked to inflation, as each shed is classed as a separate RHI project

Total project cost



5-6 years (RHI income & fuel cost saving combined)

The biomass boilers have helped make huge fuel cost savings as well as providing a dry and constant heat and an environment in which chickens thrive! This has also helped us to reduce feed costs and to make further energy savings from less ventilation being required.


Menchine is a free range poultry farm in Devon which rears 36,000 free range birds per cycle in six purpose built sheds.

The challenge

Bird welfare is a high priority on the farm. Management of the poultry houses’ environments key to this. Direct LPG heating was previously being used, which was inefficient and expensive. It was detrimental to the poultry house environment and led to increased humidity, CO₂ and ammonia levels. As a result, a large amount of ventilation was  required, adding to the already high cost of maintaining optimum temperatures. This, combined with regular top ups of bedding was costing the farm a lot of money.

Our custom solution

Treco supplied and installed four 100kW Guntamatic Powerchip biomass boilers, each pre fitted in a 40 ft high cube shipping container,to heat the six poultry houses. The system provides heating through indirect water-air heat exchangers and underfloor heating in one of the sheds. This will generate a “dry heat” in a far more efficient way, enable optimum air quality and litter throughout the crop cycle.Improving bird welfare and performance, along with lowering input costs was expected to increase the farm’s margins per bird.

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.

Project summary

Treco installed and commissioned the four biomass boilers,working with a local heating engineer to connect to the current system. The solution included:

  • 4 x top of the range 100kW Guntamatic biomass boilers(each with a fully automated wood chip fuel delivery system)
  • Each boiler was supplied pre fitted into a 40 foot high cube shipping container (12.2m x 2.9m x 2.4m)
  • 4m agitator for each boiler allowing 4.8 tonnes of fuel storage
  • A 2,000 litre thermalstore per container
  • High efficiency, low energy modulating main system pumps
  • Class 2 RHI eligible ultrasonic heat meters complete with certification
  • Indirectwater-air heat exchanger assemblies
  • Twin underground pre insulated pipe
  • Total project management and submission of RHI application
  • Commissioning, programming and end user training

The incentive

As well as fuel cost savings of 50%-80% per kWh, each of the installations is separately eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments for 20 years. The RHI payments and the fuel cost saving will ensure that the projects sustainable and financially viable.

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