Castle Hotel Llandovery Biomass Case Study
The hotel is part of a prestigious group of luxury 4 star hotels that have started on a route of decarbonizing their heating systems. Their historic Castle Hotel in the heart of the town of Llandovery is a prime example of the energy savings that can be made from switching to biomass given the spatial limitations we had to address. Being an old Listed Building (LB) there were planning and Listed Building consents that had to be secured to install the biomass system and the external silo. Biofutures have a Director who is a qualified town planner and the planning/LB issues was handled “in house” providing the client with a “turn key” solution. The project was partly funded through an interest free Carbon Trust loan that Biofutures arranged. The existing two gas boilers were elderly and needed replacement as well as a the supply to the hotel needed upgrading. The cost of a straight gas replacement and upgrade was high which led to the owners contacting Biofutures.
In March 2014, Biofutures Ltd fitted a Biotech 65kW Biomass wood pellet boiler with a 60kW gas boiler providing back up support as required. The Listed Building status of the building restricted further extensions and the solution was utilization of the existing plant room to fit the 65kW boiler, buffer and associated controls and the new gas boiler. The biomass boiler now takes the main load for the Hotel but allows the existing boilers to come on as a backup supply in high demand situations. The external 8 Ton pellet silo is clad in larch on two sides to improve its visual appearance.
At over 92%, the boiler is highly efficient and also very clean to operate with no noticeable noise, smoke or odours. It is also fully automated – the pellets are fed automatically from the silo into a day hopper that feeds the boiler via an auger system and a sophisticated control panel controls the operation of the boiler in order to match the heat production to the actual heat demand from the Hotel. Even the ash is automatically extracted into ash-bins which can be simply spread in the gardens every 3 or 4 weeks.
The Biotech boiler system sits in their main plant room where it is connected into the hotel’s heating and hot water systems. It is set up so that the biomass boiler acts as the lead boiler for the Hotel and provides the majority of the heat required. A 60kW gas boiler sit idle for much of the time, only kicking-in if needed to top up the heat provided by the biomass. Limitations of space prevented an entirely biomass solution.
The Hotel has a contract with a leading wood pellet supplier who automatically delivers pellets when notified.