Ignite: Woodfuel Production and Supply

05/02/2013 - 07/02/2013

Event Details

The original three day course providing trainees with a comprehensive introduction to the full woodfuel supply chain.  The course includes modules on fuel types, energy characteristics, woodfuel resources, boiler systems, processing technology, financial anaysis and economic modelling of supply chains.  This course has spurred a number of companies to embark on new business ventures in the rapidly expanding wood fuel market.  Applying knowledge and skills gained on the course, many of these companies are now actively participating in the wood fuel supply chain as producers and suppliers.

Cost: £140+VAT (funded) / £400+VAT (unfunded)

Prices include all course materials, handbooks, refreshments, lunch, post course mentoring (e-mail/telephone), Lantra registration and certification fees.
Funding may be available for certain courses.  To enquire about the funding criteria, or to book onto this course, please contact erica.spencer@ruraldevelopment.org.uk or call the RDI office on 01765 609355.

Full course info:

Day 1

Session 1 – Setting the Scene
The course begins with an overview of the day’s objectives and an introduction to the tutor and the 3 day programme. We then cover the background to the growth of renewable energies and woodfuels in particular before moving onto comparisons in costs, characteristics and the environmental performance of woodfuels against fossil fuels.
Following this, the drivers for woodfuel are explored, with particular attention to the legislative framework and carbon reduction targets in the UK economy. Whilst this is a classroom based session, the focus is very much on giving trainees the information needed to argue the case for woodfuels.
The session then progresses logically onto the three main types of woodfuel in use today – logs, chips and pellets – and the basic units and conversion factors for wood into energy.
The session ends by looking at the UK woodfuel market, how it has grown over recent years and how the market is predicted to grow.  It also looks at the types of customers for which woodfuel is a viable opotion.

Session 2 – The Woodfuel Resource
Picking up on the conversion factors, these are given practical application in a variety of settings as we examine the UK’s available woodfuel resource in detail. Ranging from arboricultural arisings and woodlands to recycled and reclaimed timber products, we’ll cover all the major sources of woodfuel, looking in turn at quantities, qualities and issues affecting availability and conversion for use as a fuel product.
Throughout this session, and the rest of the course, participants will complete short exercises individually, in pairs and in groups. These exercises focus on specific aspects of woodfuel and help participants gain a better understanding of the subject matter.

Day 2

Session 3 – Woodfuel Systems
Starting with an exploration of what a woodfuel customer may look like and what they want from wood as a fuel source, we aim to give participants a solid grounding in the kinds of woodfuel schemes that they might find themselves supplying – systems ranging from woodchip and pellet heating systems in the 50kW to 5MW range.
The session looks in detail at fuel delivery logistics, reception and handling at boiler installations, the process of combustion in a modern woodfuel boiler and discusses the relative benefits of different types of systems. Throughout the day constant reference is made to real-world examples of both good and bad practice to illustrate the range of systems and solutions currently in place in the UK and overseas.
The afternoon of this day is taken up with visits to a local working woodfuel installation and fuel supply set ups.  Visits in the past have included a community district heating scheme, office accommodation, blocks of flats, a swimming pool and a University building.  Where time and logistics allow we will visit more than one scheme or will look at elements of the supply chain to the boiler in question.

Day 3

Session 4 – Woodfuel Technology
This session takes an objective look at the technology currently available to chip, split, grind, shred and pelletise wood from various sources and turn it into a valuable woodfuel product. We will look at the main manufacturers, innovations and the range of products on offer.  Following on from the processing, we look at handling, storage and delivery of woodfuel products to customers, drawing on good practice and experience from across the globe.  We include up to date costs for the various elements of the supply chain and then end the session with an introduction into woodfuel quality standards and quality assurance and introduce the soon to be adopted European wide CEN standards for solid biofuels.

Integrated Assessment
The course ends with an hour-long written Assessment, with opportunities for questions and a short revision session before this starts.  The Assessment is straightforward and focuses on the practical application of the knowledge gained in the preceding two and a half days.
General Information
Throughout the course participants are encouraged to contribute their own experience either of woodfuel or of other aspects of forestry or arboriculture to the course.  There is a lively, good humoured atmosphere at courses, where participants can discuss issues of particular relevance or interest to themselves and the group within the framework of the course.  We also offer trainees a comprehensive workbook, a resources CD and unlimited post course mentoring (telephone/e-mail).
Those who complete Ignite successfully will receive a Lantra Customised Award in Woodfuel Production and Supply and will be issued with a certificate of competence.
If you’re not familiar with some of the terminology in this document, don’t worry – by the end of the 3 day Ignite course it’ll be second nature!
For content or technical enquiries please contact Will Richardson on 01765 609355 or e-mail will.richardson@ruraldevelopment.org.uk.