During winter 2014-15, the re:heat team carried out a full evaluation of the skills and competencies of those in charge of operating biomass boilers in 9 different schools across Newcastle. The re:heat team interviewed each member of RFM staff who worked with the biomass systems, watched them undertake their routine tasks and noted how their boilers were being used in practice. With stringent carbon saving targets to hit, it’s important that the biomass boilers are operated as efficiently and as consistently as possible – only a small amount of gas is allowed to be used in a year.
Operator training emerged as a key consideration in increasing the use of biomass in the schools.
After we completed the skills and competency review, we then set about writing a bespoke set of training courses. These were designed to address the areas where skills updates were needed, and we also flew in specialist engineers from the original boiler manufacturers to provide the latest training on the day-to-day operation and safe running of the boilers.
re:heat has also been commissioned by RFM to look into problem biomass boilers where issues have developed over time, and also to deal with specific biomass integration issues into existing buildings.