Customer – ARA Institute of Canterbury
Customer since – 2022
Product used – Wood energy - Bulk wood pellet fuel
ARA Institute of Canterbury is an institute of technology with campuses in Christchurch and Timaru. They have a range of practical courses such as Nursing, Engineering, Hairdressing, Carpentry, and more.
The ARA Timaru campus has a number of original buildings which still use traditional radiator heating systems that require high-temperature hot water from their boiler system.
ARA originally burnt coal to heat their buildings, like many other institutes throughout New Zealand. A few years ago, their sustainability program transitioned them towards burning an alternative fuel source, and they successfully made the conversion from coal to wood energy.
Since the conversion, ARA have been successfully burning wood pellet fuel for a number of years, however, they have experienced some ongoing efficiency issues as a result of a decrease in the quality of the wood pellets they were being supplied.
Their ongoing maintenance requirements meant that the boiler had to be shut down as often as two times a week to clear the clinker and ash from the boiler to ensure it would continue to run efficiently.
We reviewed ARA’s challenges and identified that a regular build-up of clinker and ash were restricting air flows through the boiler grate/bed and causing the boiler to automatically shut down. This not only caused issues with the routine running of the boiler but they also noticed a significant increase in downtime for maintenance and boiler cleaning.
Our high-grade pellet fuel for bulk commercial clients is put through a stringent process to ensure low moisture, low ash content, and a high calorific value.
Having burnt Azwood wood pellet fuel for a number of weeks now, ARA have visibly seen a significant reduction in the volume of ash from the boiler and no noticeable clinker presence.
“The reduced downtime and reduction in maintenance costs is a game-changer for us, as they allow the boiler to run on its automatic settings, with just the standard daily ash clearance being cleaned up easily with a small shovel. In the time we have been burning Azwood wood pellets, we haven’t had to shut down the boiler for clinker clearing, maintenance or otherwise, which is a significant cost saving.”