FIREBIRD – Setting New Standards in Sustainability

For over 40 years Firebird, headquartered in the Gaeltacht in Baile Mhic Íre, Co. Cork, has been a global market leader in designing and manufacturing high performance solutions for the home heating market, with a worldwide customer base.

Firebird Heating Solutions is one of the first to trial and test HVO in Ireland. Its trials are proving how household greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 90% with CO2 emissions decreasing by up to 6 tonnes annually. It requires little or no modification to the existing home heating system – no significant investment or capital costs, simply the introduction of the Firebird HVO burner to deliver instant savings for the homeowner and environment.

Responsibility comes with being a market leader, and over the past number of years Firebird, with a clear focus on renewables and sustainability, has dedicated many resources and invested heavily in developing products with increased fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and products that use more renewable and sustainable fuel sources.

Firebird’s mission is to play a pivotal role to support households, communities, and governments to adopt and strengthen its sustainability practices. Through its R&D centre, Firebird has and is continuing to develop new and groundbreaking renewable heating solutions and products for the market.

These products include their Firebird Enviroair Air Source Heat Pumps, which are NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) compliant, with a low running cost PCB controller and high-tech intelligent heating controls, as well as a wide range of supporting products and solar solutions.

Firebird also manufactures the most efficient oil boiler on the market at 97.5% efficiency and NOx emissions as low as 60mg/kWhr which is half the EU limits, thus ensuring the use of very little fuel which is kinder to the environment and to customers’ pockets.

Mark Doyle, General Manager of Firebird stated “Ireland needs to be scoring better compared to other EU members in the fight against global warming and we all have a part to play. Homeowners need to be given more choice on renewable and sustainable heating solutions. Manufacturers like us have to develop products that are far more environmentally friendly, and the government has to work with us to find a sensible approach for Ireland to achieve its emission targets.”

As well as leading the way in sustainable products, Firebird, is also working to find a solution to the over reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in rural areas.

One such solution would be the introduction of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils) to the Irish home heating market. HVO fuel is fossil free, and reduces greenhouse emissions by over 90%, is

sustainable and renewable and a drop-in replacement to current fossil fuels. There are no significant expensive up-front capital costs, just the introduction of the Firebird HVO burner to the boiler and it can be implemented almost immediately.

Norman Armstrong, Training Consultant with SERC (South Eastern Regional College) in Co. Down and Cathal Rafferty, National Sales Manager from Firebird inspecting the efficiency of HVO as a drop-in replacement to Kerosene.

However, there is a downside as HVO is not currently readily available in Ireland. Firebird and the trade association OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) believe that if the Irish Government would support the introduction of HVO into the domestic home heating market, it could solve so many environmental problems, in particular in locations where other proposed solutions are just not practical.

Mark stated “The government has a strategy to move everyone to electric heat pumps in domestic situations. The problem with this strategy is that in Ireland there are over 700,000 homes with existing liquid fuel boilers. Approximately half of these homes are older builds so are not suitable currently for this heating solution. Consequently, these homes would have to be retrofitted, costing as much as €30,000 per household.”

“HVO can work with any liquid fuel boiler and if used in homes, can potentially make these homes almost carbon neutral immediately.” Mark added. “We are already in talks with other governments, who are embracing the concept of alternative eco friendly fuels as they have similar issues as we have in Ireland, with our rural and older stock of homes as 42% of homes in specific countries were built before 1919.”

Firebird has first hand experience with HVO as they use the fuel to power their plants in Plymouth and Newry and recently introduced it into their plant in Cork.

Firebird has already completed successful case studies using HVO for home heating in homes in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.These studies saw HVO fossil free fuel achieve a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases, 95% efficiency, 100% sustainability. No capital costs were incurred and there was no requirement for new boilers or tanks.

This innovative approach to problem solving is just one of the reasons why Firebird is a market leader in home heating; always adapting, always developing practical world class solutions with a mission to set new standards of sustainability for the home heating market.

To learn more about Firebird home heating solutions visit www.firebird.ie