The Kerava-Tuusula fire station heats up with renewable heating oil

Located in the Kerava-Tuusula area in Finland, the fire station has adopted a unique and environmentally friendly heating solution. Managed by Kerava Energy, a compact container has been the primary source of heat for the fire station since its completion. For the past couple of years, the station has exclusively used renewable heating oil. Transitioning to renewable heating oil was a hassle-free operation, requiring only minor adjustments to the burner and the replacement of the flame detector.

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The brown container, situated in the yard of the fire station, rests firmly on a stone base. It's not just any container, but a mini heating center owned and operated by Kerava Energy. Thomas Backman, the maintenance master of Kerava Energy Oy, illuminates this interesting arrangement. "This is a heating container, which serves as the heart of the heating system for the Kerava-Tuusula fire station. Inside, there is a 15 cubic meter oil tank," explains Backman.

Heating the fire station is a challenging task. The building is large, and the need for energy increases, especially in winter, when fire trucks frequently move through large doors for emergency tasks, and it can be very cold outside. "The container houses an 800 kW Viessmann boiler and an 800 kW Oilon burner. This setup efficiently produces energy for the station's needs," Backman details the container's equipment.

Upon closer inspection of the container, a filling connection for heating oil and an oil separator well with a solid tank underneath are revealed. In the event of an oil spill, the oil would remain in the well.

The oil tank filling process is simple and safe. "A Neste truck reverses up to the container, attaches its hose to the camlock connector, and pumps the oil into the tank," Backman describes the filling process.

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The fire station was inaugurated at the beginning of 2018, and initially, traditional heating oil was used. However, a few years ago, the station switched to using Neste's MY Renewable Fuel Oil.

The transition to renewable oil required only minor adjustments and the replacement of the flame detector, a process Backman describes as "quite simple." "It takes about an hour for an expert to get the system up and running," he adds.

The heating container operates smoothly with minimal maintenance. The burner is adjusted annually to ensure adequate oxygen supply and to prevent the formation of carbon monoxide and NOx emissions. "Previously, chimney sweeping was done every two years. Now, we are assessing whether sweeping is necessary when using renewable oil," states Backman.

Using renewable fuel oil in an oil heating boiler is a quick and effective way to reduce the carbon footprint of heating. Backman emphasizes the environmental significance of such sustainable solutions. "We switched to renewable oil for the sake of the environment. It's definitely an option worth trying for others too. If soot emissions stop, it also leads to significant savings and efficiency. Even a thin layer of soot can hinder heat transfer," he advises.

This article was originally published in Lämmöllä magazine in Finland in the autumn of 2023, and it has been adapted into this Eurofuel blog post. The photos were taken last autumn, as well as the video, where Thomas Backman, the maintenance master of Kerava Energia Oy, showcases the heating system of the Kerava-Tuusula Fire Station and shares his views on renewable heating oil.

The video is in Finnish, but English subtitles can be selected: