Hoathly Hill Community

Commission: Originally, the heating at Hoathly Hill was provided by Liquid Propane Gas. A Binder 300kW biomass boiler was installed in a new custom built boiler house and wood chip fuel store. The boiler now provides heat to 27 houses, along with workshops and a kindergarten. High efficiency insulated flow and return pipes provide heat to all the houses, connecting via an interface unit to the internal heating and water heating system. There are two 4,000 litre buffer hot water storage tanks which dampen fast transitions, enabling the boiler to meet peak load demands and minimise the boiler cycling that occurs during low load conditions.

Boiler Type: 300kWh Binder boiler

Fuel Type: Wood Chip

Fuel Storage: Wood chip is delivered by tractor and trailer, with one load per week estimated, subject to weather conditions affecting the heat load demand. The trailer load of chip is tipped into a sunken fuel store through an aperture with a sliding cover in the roof.

Annual Fuel Requirement: 250 tonnes

CO2 emission reduction: 900 tonnes over 20 years

Case History: Hoathly Hill Community, established in 1972, lies on the outskirts of West Hoathly village in the rural landscape of the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). There are 27 dwellings, inhabited by around 65 people of all ages with both children and adults daily using three main community buildings for kindergarten, artistic training and educational purposes. The aim of the community is to provide a supportive and sustainable cultural, social and physical environment for everyone who lives there. The biomass system has now been operating for over six years and in that time, it has saved the community thousands of pounds in fuel costs, as well as providing heat with minimal environmental impact. Hoalthy Hill has recently approached Douch Biomass regarding an increased capacity system installation, for which works will due to begin in late 2014.

Date Completed: September 2007

  • As the Executive Director of Hoathly Hill Renewable Energy Ltd, I have had the pleasure of dealing with Nick Douch and his team at Douch Biomass for a number of years now. As a community of dwellings and enterprises we decided to investigate sustainable sources of heating. Having found what we felt was the solution, Douch guided us through the process from start to finish. They have been absolutely brilliant in the service they have offered, going, I feel, beyond what one would expect of them. If choosing biomass boilers as your energy supply, you would do well to engage with Douch in this regard….you will not be disappointed.

    Andrew Higgo, Executive Director - Hoathly Hill Renewable Energy Ltd

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