Central Highlands – Beaufort Hospital
Like most small rural hospitals, Beaufort is facing the challenge of rising costs and shrinking budgets. The hospital currently uses LPG for heating and hot water and this fuel currently costs the organisation around $60,000 per year. The Central Highlands Agribusiness Forum (CHAF) and the Pyrenees Shire identified the hospital as an ideal demonstration site for bioenergy. The Regional Bioenergy Project was developed out of this recognition.
A heating study of the hospital was commissioned and boiler specification developed. Tenders were then sought to provide a biomass boiler system to heat the hospital based on these specifications. In July 2013 a New Zealand company, Living Energy, was appointed to carry out the boiler installation. The new boiler is a 110 kW Hargassner boiler manufactured in Austria. It’s housed in a modified shipping container which is both boiler house and fuel store.
The containerised system allowed the installation to proceed quickly with minimal impact on hospital operations. It also gives the flexibility of being relocatable should the need arise. Fuel for the boiler is supplied from the Pyrenees Timber sawmill at nearby Chute. The installation is complete and viewing windows allow the public to see it in operation.
Boiler House installed at the Hospital
Viewing window at the Boiler House helps the public understand the process
Wood chips being delivered to the Boiler House