RNZAF Woodbourne Heating

A Bryn Martin Project

The Challenge

RNZAF Woodbourne was established in 1939. It has developed over the years and is now a training and engineering establishment, supporting the RNZAF's Orion and Hercules aircraft.

The base has been well maintained, but in the future faces considerable change, both for the aircraft types that it supports (as new aircraft are procured), and of the building stock which is set for significant renewal.

At the same time, much of the heating infrastructure is reaching the end of its life and must be renewed if the base is to be reconfigured to meet future needs.

Bryn Martin was asked to undertake a study of the existing plant and heating systems and to make recommendations as to what the best approach might be for the future.

Main Features

No 1 RNZAF Woodbourne Strategic Heating Study
  • An existing coal fired boilerhouse provides heating to about half of the site via a medium temperature hot water (MTHW) distribution system.
  • Another pair of diesel steam boilers provide heating to the SAFE Air site and to a half of one hangar.
  • Another hangar is heated by an electric resistance boiler.
  • Half of the site is not provided with heating from the boilerhouses, being a mix of small local diesel boiler and elec
    tric heating.
  • The buried MTHW distribution pipework was thought to still be in reasonably good condition.
  • There will likely be problems in the future, renewing the resource consents for the continued burning of coal.
  • A considerable part of the heating plant and equipment is old and reaching the end of its economic life.

The Response

Bryn Martin's approach was to spend three days on site to meet the key people, understand the functions of the base now and what they might be in the future, and to survey the existing systems and equipment.

We carried out a range of site measurements to determine actual system and area loads, found as much historical data as we were able, and made ourselves familiar with the problems and limitations of the present installations.

The Works

We took all of the data, and from it derived the likely loads which future heating systems would need to support. We looked at the loads seasonally, and through the day to produce a picture of how loads might vary with time.

We then looked at likely fuels, their sources, security of supply, technical advantages and limitations, and cost and availability, now and into the future.

We then proposed a set of high level objectives which any solution would need to meet, in terms of flexibility, security, and reliability, in order to be considered acceptable.

Against those high level objectives, the derived loads, fuel types, knowledge of the existing building stock, and some reasonable suppositions about what the future building stock might look like, Bryn

Martin put together 4 different approaches to heating plant, together with schematic diagrams, and budget capital an operating costs.

All four options were entirely practicable, and under different "future Woodbourne" scenarios, each had its relative benefits and limitations.

The report was framed and presented in such a way that when NZDF settles its future aircraft procurements, how they are to be supported, and what the future building re-development programme at Woodbourne looks like, the Heating Systems report can be revisited, and a rational choice made between the proposed alternatives.

For more Information on this or any other project or service please contact Brian Anderson or Tim Allan.