Novapower was asked to work on a Grade II* listed building in Cheshire which is frequently used for weddings and graduation events, as well as having both commercial and residential spaces. The main hall is large and very expensive to heat as it is not on the gas network. The Estate wanted to lower their heating bills and move to a sustainable, low-carbon solution and engaged Novapower to research and tender the options and then project manage the installation.


We examined options including ground source, air source and biomass, but in the end moving from gas to biomass was the obvious solution due to the higher temperatures required by the radiator banks and because the estate has extensive woodland from which to self-supply their own woodchip.


Nova Power designed a purpose-built timber-clad energy centre with a sliding roof. This was then built in the caravan park which would house the wood chip hopper and the biomass system. The hot water would be fed into various locations around the hall via underground piping. This required full planning approval and listed building consent, both of which were obtained by Nova Power.


The unique sliding-roof design enables chip to be tipped in from above, rather than augered or blown in, reducing the number of mechanical parts to be maintained and the lowering risk of breakdown.


We delivered a 199kW biomass boiler, 200kW central backup oil boiler and 9000 litres of buffer tank storage. We worked with the incumbent Estate civils and plumbing contractors for the installation of the underground heat pipe, the heat exchangers and the internal piperuns in the buildings.


We replaced the old, inefficient hot water cylinder with a new 500 litre direct hot water cylinder that will better serve the needs of the Estate during periods of heavy use.

In total the system provides heating to the main hall, two cottages, three office spaces and the chapel. Existing oil boilers were kept in situ and were connected in such a way that they can be easily switched over to if needed.