Malcolm Maxwell


Northern Ireland


Malcolm Maxwell is a poultry producer and raises around 35,000 chickens per crop. He owns two large chicken houses and has an annual heating bill of between £15000-16000. Malcolm has already installed solar panels to help reduce his electricity costs.



Malcolm is keen to install a biomass boiler on his farm in order to reduce the amount he spends on gas. He would like to know more about the boilers and wanted an investigation into which was the best type of fuel to use, chip or pellet. Overall Malcolm wanted a small feasibility study compiled to see if the project would be financially viable.



The project involved investigation into biomass boilers and a number of experts in the field were contacted including represenatives from CAFRE, DARD and installers of biomass boilers. A report was then produced identifying all the issues the client had raised.



The report provided the client with a detailed understanding of biomass boilers. It also reported that the installation of a biomass boiler on Malcolm’s farm would dramatically reduce his gas bills and would have a short payback period of just over 4 years, additional benefits¬†include improved chicken health. The report also found that pellet was the most favourable form of fuel for a biomass boiler of the chosen size.


Image 1: Breakdown of the Energy used on a chicken farm


Image 2: The current heating system in place