Running on fresh air - Kilkenny man behind innovative heating system

LOCAL businessman Dell Todd from Conahy is selling a heating system that virtually runs on fresh air.

LOCAL businessman Dell Todd from Conahy is selling a heating system that virtually runs on fresh air.

Called the Ice Stick, this device sits in your garden or next to your buiilding, compresses air and due to the wonders of science, will heat water for all your pipes and radiators, or under floor heating.

A Borris native he married a Kilkenny woman, Karen Dowd, and lives in Conahy with their two kids. Dell is well known locally - he previously managed the Golf Shop on John Street - now Bridie’s Bar. But an interest in new energy solutions drew him to this product, and with 50 units sold it is sure to take off.

“It’s a n innovative system and will cut your running costs dramatically. Basically the unit sits in your garden, and theonly running costs are electricity to run the compressor. And we have put a metre on the unit, so the costs of running that are transperent as well” he said.

“Its suited to bigger houses built in the last ten years when people were not fully aware of the cost of rising oil prices and implications on home heating, and also for large commercial premises looking to cut heating costs,” said Dell.

Having faced in to two chilly winters this year, the unit is built to run on temperatures below 25 celsius so not even the icy northern winds of late have disrupted the running of the Ice Stick.

“If the Ice-Stick can save people that much money and keep them toastywarm and cosy over these past two winters, well, we know it’s a really good product,” he added.

There have been thousands of Ice Sticks installed throughout Central Europe and Scandinavia - the home of this particular invention is Sweden. Del and Hotfoot are eager to add to the 50 or so installations that have occurred in Ireland so far.

“All of our customers have been extremely happy with the system’s performance giving them 24/7 comfort as well as dramatically reduced running costs” notes Del. The customers’ satisfaction has been particularly encouraging given the severity of the past couple of winters.

The Ice-Stick is based on a surprisingly simple principle similar to a fridge and can be fitted with the minimum of fuss for buildings of all sizes and shapes. The device takes moisture in the air, which there is plenty of in Kilkenny (and all of Ireland) and condenses it, causing a refrigerant inside it to warm and evaporate. The gas then moves to the products single moving part, a compressor, where the heat is transferred to water circulating through the buildings radiators, or under floor heating pipes. With only one moving part the Ice Stick lasts for decades with minimum maintenance and operating costs. It uses natural elements to provide a constant source of comfortable heat with very little energy.

The (World Wildlife Foundation) also have been very impressed with the Ice-Stick, so much so that they awarded the product with The Climate Solver Product of the year award in 2010.

In their assessment of the product they explain that The Ice-stick allows the user to set their desired temperature and walk away, with the system reliably keeping a home or building comfortable all year long. They went on to say that if 1 in 5 buildings in the target market installs a heat pump similar to the Ice Stick the emissions of co2 can be reduced by 29 millions tonnes annually in 2020.

Del and Hotfoot are confident that the Ice-Stick offers a great money saving way to heat Irish homes and businesses into the future. “It’s a simple and smart way to use less energy to get more consistent and efficient warmth. And with the winters we have been having, and the price of oil or gas, who wouldn’t want to save a bundle to do that?” You can get more information at www.hotfoot.ie