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Renewable Energy at Camphill Community, Omagh

The renewables project at Camphill Community, Clanabogan, Omagh was set up by the Omagh Environmental & Energy Consortium (OEEC).

The OEEC, established in 2002 is made up of representatives from the Ulster Farmers Union, the NI Agricultural Producers' association, the Camphill Communities, Omagh District Council, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for NI and the Omagh College of Further Education as a lead partner. The Camphill Community Camphill Community Clanabogan is a registered charity situated in the west of County Tyrone, about four miles from Omagh. In this community, adults who have difficulties arising from mental and emotional disability live and work together with co-workers and their children. The community comprises an organic farm and residential centre for some 90 people and the farm consists of both livestock and arable production. Milk and milk products, meat, grain, vegetables and fruit are produced naturally without chemical fertilisers or pesticides, following the approach of biodynamic agriculture. Groups of school children visit the farm and bakery; nursing students, youth projects, environmental groups and all kinds of interested people come and see what life in Camphill is like. Renewable energy demonstration facility It was decided to develop a land based demonstration resource where innovation could be applied in a local context and practical applications of renewable energy technologies and sustainable farming practices could be seen in action. To this end the renewable energy demonstration facility was constructed at Camphill. This facility is a working demonstration scheme featuring a range of key renewable energy technologies which have been developed and installed on the site, including: · 20 kW wind turbine for electricity generation The wind turbine is grid connected and has been in operation for around 2 years and supplies electricity for the ground source heat pump in addition to the residential facilities and workshops at the site. The output of the turbine is in the region of 50,000 units of electricity per year (at an average windspeed of 7 metres per second). Ground Source Heat Pump The heat pump has an electrical input of 5.5kW delivering 20kW of heat output. The heated water circulates through approximately 1km of pipework located 600mm below ground level in the polytunnel. This produces a root temperature of between 22 and 24 oC which is ideal for root crops and has proven effective in bringing the spring growing season forward by a full six weeks in comparison with before installation. The ground loop is approx 1.5 metres deep and the collecting pipework system is approx 2km in length. At this depth the temperature is around 10 o all year round. The electricity for the pump is supplied by the wind turbine on site.

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Biomass (woodchip) fuelled district heating system The biomass district heating scheme has been running since March 1999 and was the first district heating scheme of its kind in the country. For years the Camphill Community have improved the estate, fields, hedges and so forth creating piles of waste wood material. A 320kW boiler and a large wood chipper were purchased with assistance through the DED's energy demonstration scheme. The boiler uses mainly wood chip from the Camphill site however it can also burn wood pellets and grain which can be supplied locally. The boiler provides heat for approximately 2/3 of the site including residential facilities and workshops. Approximate running costs for the boiler are £4,000 - £5,000 per year however the equivalent costs of fossil fuels would have been around £18,000 - £25,000 per year, thus saving approx £15,000 / year. A domestic multi fuel wood boiler is also used for a cottage on site. Solar water heating The house at Camphill has 7 flat plate solar collector panels mounted on the roof. The system provides around 50% of the annual hot water needs of the house which includes residents baths, showers and washbasins. The system has a controller which switched the solar pump on automatically when the temperature of the water in the collectors is 4 o C above the water temperature in the cylinder. The total collector area is 14m 2 and is linked to a 500 litre pre heat water cylinder. The system also has a drain back vessel which automatically drains fluid from the collectors to prevent freezing or overheating within the roof mounted collectors. 2kW photovoltaic array for electricity generation The photovoltaic array is a demonstration project and the energy generated contributes to the electricity requirement of the day workshops, for general lighting and appliances. The array has a peak output of approximately 2kW. The system is grid connected and replaces electricity from the grid. The solar panels produce DC electricity which is changed to AC so that it can be used within the building. This is achieved by an inverter. The display panel shows the amount of electricity being produced at any one time and the number of units produced to date.

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These systems are all working to meet the energy needs both of the Camphill Community and the farming enterprise as well as providing a state of the art demonstration resource for education and research and development into renewable energy applications. Education and Raising Awareness An information board at each point explains the technology and how it works. In addition a website has been commissioned ([email protected]). This will provide information about the project, including real time data about energy generation on site e.g. electricity generation by the wind turbine. Watch this space for more information when the website is up and running. The demonstration facility at Camphill has been open to visitors since September 2003, with guided group tours being organised on a regular basis. In addition to this, a series of information evenings for farmers and other rural employers were held throughout the district. Renewable energy has also been incorporated into educational courses at Omagh College as part of an ongoing curriculum development plan e.g. Jobskills Plumbing NVQ Level 3, NVQ Electrical and Mechanical courses and the Renewable Energy Installer Academy (REIA) registered installer training courses. If you would like any further information on the renewable technologies at Clanabogan, please contact Camphill community on 02882256100, email [email protected] or Mark McGuigan, Project Officer at Omagh College [email protected] Action Renewables can carry out feasibility studies for renewable energy projects, for more information call 0808 141 2020 or use the contact form on the website.

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