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Uphouse Farm, Norfolk.

16 Houses, 850,000 Birds

Project Description


Maximising bird welfare, reducing energy costs, making the most of new technology, motivating staff and earning a profit are all priorities for Norfolk broiler producers Nigel & Patrick Joice. Nigel built his first farm of 8 houses in 1997 and added an additional farm on the same site in 2005.

Having researched the market for a solution that would use his manure as a fuel, Nigel Joice chose bhsl’s FBC system and installed an FBC manure to energy plant in 2011. As part of a study with the UK Environment Agency the plant was commissioned on manure and operated to gather evidence for the safe use of manure as a fuel on poultry farms. This data was included in a comprehensive submission to the EU Departments of Animal & Food Safety (DG Sanco) and Environment (DG Enviro) in Brussels and as a result new rules became law in July 2014.

Uphouse farm is the first poultry site in Europe to be given approval to use manure as a fuel under the new rules. Nigel Joice was the Farmer Weekly Awards 2011 Poultry Farmer of the Year, and Nigel and Patrick are the British Farming Awards Renewables Innovator of the Year 2014.

Farm Information

Name Uphouse Farm
Houses 8 + 8
Total Growing Area 37,905 m²
Typical Flock Size 392,000 + 432,000
Flocks Per Year 7
Historic Heating Direct LPG Combustion
Typical LPG Usage 334,409 Litres

bhsl Solution Description

In 2011 bhsl installed two FBC500 manure to energy heating plants. In total these process up to 10 tonnes of manure a day and provide 950 kW of heat to the site. An LPG backup boiler system with an additional 1,000 kW heat output is available to supplement the FBC manure boiler when demand increases beyond 950 kW during very cold weather.

The two farms on the site were connected to the energy centre using 3.5 km of district heating pipework. Two 100 kW DraperVent heating radiators were installed in each house.

Uphouse Layout

Site Results

In the 12 months up to April 2015 the Energy Centre has provided 6,258 MWh of heat to the poultry houses. This compares to a typical annual historic heat usage of 2,818 MWh. bhsl models of optimum ventilation predict that this increased ventilation will have reduced the humidity within the poultry houses from an average of 64% to 54%.

Manure has been used to replace 95% of the LPG usage on the site whilst doubling the amount of heat used.

Uphouse Case Study Graphic
After commissioning, a control house was kept running on LPG and the manure was compared to the manure produced from houses using the bhsl heating system. The average moisture content of the control house was 45.5%, compared to an average of 31.8% for the bhsl heated house.

This drier manure was a result of the improved conditions and in turn this had an impact on rates of podermatitis and hock burn as well as improved food conversion.

Key Performance Indicators

Energy Centre
Manure heat use vs. Historic heat Use 235%
Humidity Reduction 64% to 54%
LPG Replacement 95%
Plant Availability 102.1%
Pododermatitis Reduction 50%
Hock Burn Reduction 23%
FCR Improvement 6 points

Project Financials

Investment £
FBC Plant Confidential
Buildings Confidential
District Heating Network Confidential
House Heating Confidential
Savings £
LPG Savings Confidential
RHI Income Confidential
Ash Sales Confidential
Bird Performance Confidential
Project Payback: 3.25 Years

Project Details

  • Client Nigel & Patrick Joice, Uphouse Farm Ltd
  • Date March 18, 2011
  • Tags Poultry Case Study

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