Colchester /Great Bentley: Bentley Fire Shop supplies hi-tech biomass boiler system to Colchester Zoo

Bentley Fire Shop has supplied a self-contained containerised biomass boiler system to Colchester Zo

Bentley Fire Shop has supplied a self-contained containerised biomass boiler system to Colchester Zoo. - Credit: Archant

Bentley Fire Shop, based at Great Bentley, near Colchester, has supplied a fully containerised biomass system to Colchester Zoo.

The Green Heat Module, which consists of a wood pellet boiler along with a fuel store, extract auger and fill and vent pipes, will heat the zoo’s existing lion enclosure and a new attraction which simulates a rainforest for visitors to walk through to feed Lorikeet parrots.

It will also provide heating and hot water services to various additional animal enclosures, as well as the main office facilities.

The installation was the third in a series of biomass projects completed by Bentley Fire Shop’s heating and biomass division at Colchester Zoo, and is the largest to date.

Paul Maguire, estate manager at Colchester Zoo, said: “Having installed a couple of biomass boilers already, we knew how environmentally friendly and cost effective they were to run.


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“This new containerised facility was the ideal choice for the latest project, as it makes the storage and handling of the fuel easier and, as it’s a wood pellet boiler, there is far less waste compared to wood chips.”

The biomass system from Bentley is eligible for the non-domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI), providing up to 8.4p per kilowatt hour (kWhth) produced over 20 years.

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Mr Maguire added: “It’s too early to tell what the savings will be from the boiler, but calculations have indicated that the RHI will more than cover the running costs.”

The Green Heat Module is specially designed for applications where internal space for a biomass heating system is unavailable. The module is delivered fully fitted and is then linked to the distribution system via a single flow and return connection.

Gordon Bennett, managing director at Bentley Fire Shop, said: “By utilising a fully containerised heating solution, installation of the equipment is far quicker and reduces the downtime to the customer. This was ideal for Colchester Zoo, where they have a vast number of visitors every day, especially during the summer months when we installed the plant – so disruption had to be kept to a minimum.”

Established in 1988, Bentley Fire Shop has more than 25 years of experience in designing, installing and servicing fireplaces, gas fires, woodburning stoves, biomass as well as domestic and commercial heating systems.

At the heart for the Green Heat Module is a 199kW Hargassner pellet boiler, which delivers highly efficient heating with unparalleled levels of automation. The boiler also features fully automated ignition, automatic heat exchanger cleaning and an ash extraction system.

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