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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Local Castle opts for Green Energy Technology

Castlewellan Castle, a beautiful 19th century castle within Castlewellan Forest Park, is installing a new heating system to be fuelled by locally grown wood chip. The castle is managed by Christian charity, Centre Ministries, and is used mainly as a residential conference centre.

Built in 1856, the castle has never had a true central heating system. Recently the castle has been heated using expensive, inefficient, electric storage heaters. The new 200kW boiler will heat the entire castle and provide hot water to over 25 bedrooms and the kitchen.

Centre Ministries are purchasing a state of the art 200kW Austrian wood chip boiler, one of the first of its kind in Ireland. The installation and commissioning of the boiler will be carried out by the specialist firm, Green Energy Technology Ltd. of Waringstown. Patrick Flynn, Director of Green Energy Technology Ltd. stated;

‘We are delighted that Centre Ministries has chosen one of our Hargassner boilers from Austria. This advanced technology has been used in Austria for decades and is becoming more and more popular in Ireland as the price of fossil fuel rise, and people become more environmentally aware.’

Ironically, the boiler will be situated within the old coal house, originally used to store the coal needed to fuel the dozens of fireplaces in the old castle. The coal house will be modified to house the boiler, fuel store, and a 5,000 litre hot water accumulator tank.

The installation of the wood chip boiler is part of the charity’s drive to use sustainable and local sources of fuel. Using local fuel will result in significant savings – both financial, and in terms of CO² released. The use of wood chip as a fuel source results in a CO2 neutral process, as the emissions equate to the CO² absorbed by the timber when it is growing. The castle can expect to reduce its CO² emissions by 150 tonnes per year.

The manager of the castle, Andrew Forson, lives in the castle with his family. Andrew commented;

‘We are really looking forward to getting this system up and running, it is important to us that we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and support local farmers. We will heat the castle to a level of comfort that has not been possible before.’

The new boiler and heating network is expected to be commissioned in the New Year, and will mark a major milestone in Centre Ministries efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

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