Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

SYSTEM: Artic walking floor trailer
FUEL: P45 M40 Wood Chips
CAPACITY: 5,000 tonne

The new Queen Margaret University campus at Musselburgh was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 4th July 2008. The campus is an exemplar for sustainable development and achieved the highest BREEAM rating of any university in the UK. The campus consists of eight hundred student bedrooms, academic buildings, administration buildings, a student union and indoor sports facilities.

Scot Heat & Power Ltd is responsible for the safe and effective operation and maintenance of the Kohlbach K8 1500 1.5MWh Biomass Boiler and all the associated equipment at the QMU campus Energy Centre supplying Scotland’s largest biomass district heating network with a source of renewable heating and hot water.

The campus has a maximum 4.8MW peak heat demand and the computerized control system enables the biomass boiler to become the “lead boiler” to provide heating and hot water to the campus. The biomass boiler is linked to two 30,000 litre buffer tanks that store hot water up to 110°C at 6bar pressure to respond to peak heat demands. There are two 2.4MW gas fired boilers which can top up the system in extreme conditions and act as a full back-up system.

Scot Heat & Power Ltd implement and maintain a robust monitoring system for the performance of our operations to ensure they are being performed as efficiently as possible in order to maximise savings, reduce wastage and reduce the Carbon Footprint of our operations whenever possible. Our wood fuel processing and delivery machinery and vehicle fleet is closely monitored and delivery routes are chosen to maximise carbon savings in the supply chain to maintain the Carbon Neutrality that heating with Biomass Wood Fuel provides.

The wood fuel is delivered via Artic Walking Floor trailer – one of several in the Scot Heat & Power Ltd fleet – into an underground bunker. The wood fuel is then moved along a walking floor into a feed trough where it is pushed by hydraulic ram into the boiler system. The KOHLBACH boiler is able to efficiently burn wood fuel up to 60% moisture content and due to the ram stoker feed system can utilize wood fuel of random size.

Carbon Savings

The biomass installation provides QMU with approx 7,000MWh of renewable energy which provides an annual Carbon Footprint reduction of approx 1,400 tonnes of CO2eq. As Biomass is a Carbon Neutral source of energy this provides QMU with a 90% reduction in its Carbon Footprint from its heating operations. As Scot Heat & Power Ltd are committed to reducing the Carbon Footprint of our operations we monitor our fuel processing and delivery processes in order to minimize the Carbon Footprint of our deliveries from the forest to the boiler.


When installed the system has an anticipated payback period of 5-7 years (based on 2008 energy prices). If installed today the installation would offer a 3-4 year payback based on a combination of energy savings and Renewable Heat Incentive income which would provide approximately £140,000.00 per annum.


By installing a Biomass Heating System QMU is able to achieve an approximate annual energy saving of £82,000.00 (based on 2015 energy prices) – this is a 30% saving. The installation also allows QMU to reduce its payments such as Climate Change Levy charges providing a further saving.

Fuel Source

Wood chip is produced and supplied from our local Scot Heat & Power Ltd depot with the boiler handling moisture content varying between 30%-60% (wet basis) with an annual requirement of approx 3,500 tonne.