Goodwood Estate powers into the future with Viessmann Pyrot biomass boiler

Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, home to the world-famous annual Festival of Speed, has constructed a new energy centre and district heating network as a step towards self-sufficiently meeting its energy requirements from renewable sources. At the heart of the new centre is a high-tech Viessmann Pyrot biomass boiler which will be fuelled by wood from the 11,500-acre estate.

Goodwood House and Estate have been home to the Earl of March’s family for more than 300 years. “With this,” Lord March has observed, “comes great responsibility to protect, maintain and enhance the character, setting and landscape for the enjoyment of future generations without compromising their needs.” Goodwood’s ultimate goal is to supply the whole Estate with renewable energy.

It was this commitment to sustainability which led to the creation an entirely new, environmentally friendly energy centre when it was time to update the heating and hot water supply to Hound Lodge, an exclusive 10-bedroom country retreat in the Estate’s grounds. A wood-fuelled biomass boiler was the logical choice and a Viessmann Pyrot was specified because of Lord March’s familiarity with the excellence of the company’s products. The Pyrot is a fully automatic firing boiler, for wood pellets or chippings, available in a range of six models with outputs from 80 to 540 kW and with boiler efficiency greater than 90%. The Pyrot’s patent-protected rotating combustion chamber optimises utilisation of the wood gases with minimum dust emissions at all power levels and its horizontal heat exchanger can be pneumatically cleaned, significantly reducing maintenance requirements.

The energy centre has been built with a hydraulic roof which slides back to allow the tipping of woodchip into a 100 cubic metre fuel store. A rotary auger transfers the woodchip into a transverse auger which delivers fuel to the boiler’s moving grate. Heat is then transferred for storage to two Viessmann Vitocell 300 buffer vessels and four Viessmann Vitocell 300 domestic hot water cylinders. The 220 kW Pyrot biomass boiler is supplemented on occasions of peak demand by an LPG-fuelled 187 kW Viessmann Vitocrossal 300 boiler.

The energy centre is also connected, by more than 400 metres of underground pipes, to The Kennels, a building somewhat grander than its name implies. Designed by famous classical architect James Wyatt and built in 1787 to house hunting hounds, The Kennels additionally became home in 1914 to Goodwood’s golf club and nowadays also hosts members from all of Goodwood’s Sporting Social memberships (horseracing, golf, motorsport, aviation), as well as housing a health club.

In addition to hosting the annual Festival of Speed, which brings together the planet’s rarest and most glamorous cars, Lord March’s estate is home to the annual Goodwood Revival historic motor racing event and Glorious Goodwood, the social and sporting highlight of the flat-racing season.

Darren McMahon, marketing director at Viessmann, commented: “The 150,000 people visiting Goodwood next weekend to enjoy the noise and spectacle of powerful cars might be surprised to learn that behind the scenes a revolution is quietly taking place in the way the Estate fuels its own heating and hot water. Lord March and his team are internationally famous for the excellence of their sporting events and at Viessmann we’re proud that our products meet the Lord’s exacting standards.”