Cheswardine (550kW)

Wood chip boiler heating nursing home in 19th century mansion

Biomass boiler model:
Gilles HPKI K 550kW

Biomass fuel:
Woodchip up to G50 45W

Fuel store:
Bespoke fuel store

Special features:
  • Automatic ignition
  • Pneumatic heat exchanger cleaning
  • Automatic ash removal
  • Integrated flying ash removal by multi-cyclone dust separator
  • Fireview Remote access via broadband internet
  • 2 District Heat Mains
  • Multiple terminations supplying heat and hot water
  • Opportunity for future expansion

Cheswardine Hall is a beautiful 19th century mansion sitting in sixty acres oflandscaped gardens offering high quality care to its residents. Like Cheswardine, many nursing homes are often housed in older, traditional buildings. These have substantial heat demands as they are frequently large, poorly insulated and generally energy inefficient. These factors, coupled with oil central heating, lead to substantial annual expenditure. Installing a biomass boiler reduces annual heating bills making care provision a more commercially viable proposition for the owners.

The Boiler

The Gilles 550kW industrial boiler installed at Cheswardine Hall has fully automated heat exchanger cleaning and ash removal. The only intervention required by the client is to empty the ash bin once a month and to fill the fuel store. The Gilles advanced combustion control system allows the boiler to modulate efficiently to match heating and hot water demands even at times of low demand, i.e. during the summer. The unique underfeed stoking system of the Gilles HPKI-K range means that the boiler is more than capable of burning wood fuel on the margins of the specification.

Boiler Room & Fuel Store 

The boiler room and store are located in a purpose-built facility. It was important to the client that this was unobtrusive and fitted in with the period surroundings of both the hall and the landscape. The boiler room is a brick building adjacent to the fuel store. Energy Innovations designed a bespoke fuel store with a capacity for 25 tons of chip. This equates to a six week run time between refils. The store can receive bulk deliveries of fuel creating a significant cost saving when purchasing wood chip. Standard tipping lorries can deposit their load directly in the fuel store without the need for specialist equipment.

Heat Distribution

There are two district heating mains installed with provision for a third at a later date. These serve the main heating and hot water system in the house and the hot water services in the laundry facility. They are pre insulated Isoplus pipes and offer the best insulation standards of any district heating main. Sufficient capacity has been designed into the heating mains to allow for future expansion of the site. Part of the brief of the system was to provide heat to five different units simultaneously. This was comfortably achieved. The boiler also heats the workshop and storeroom which is integrated into the main boiler room. This is heated using a fan coil and a conventional wet heating system.

Remote Maintenance & Fireview 

The system can be remotely monitored and adjusted by Energy Innovations thanks to the Fireview software and broadband connection to the boilier. In the event of technical queries from the user, Energy Innovations can dial into the system from their offices and review operational parameters and settings, making changes if necessary, without having to incur the client the cost of a site visit.


With the financial backing of the government based Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), this installation would be eligible to receive in the region of £29,000 per annum. Tariff payments to all RHI beneficiaries will be carried out over a 20 year period to encourage users to operate and maintain their equipment over the tariff duration. The level of payment is fixed, however, it is subject to inflation according to the Retail Price Index.