1860s Farmhouse

A ground source heat pump was installed on Hugh Whittome’s 1860s farmhouse to repace an oil-fired boiler. Finn Geotherm, based in Norfolk, specified and installed a Lampoassa Emi 28 GSHP linked to a 1,400 metre ground loop and a 700 litre thermal store. While the farmhouse has a low EPC rating, the heat pump works efficiently to keep its owners warm by using the thermal mass of the building.

Hugh said that it is a ‘common myth’ that a ground source heat pump can only be used with underfloor heating, but his installation proves otherwise. “We have radiators throughout and the house has never been warmer, day and night”, he explained. “The heat pump has taken away the hassle of heating and hot water. We just leave it to run and don’t have to order oil deliveries”. The farm is now carbon positive and the heat pump runs entirely on green electricity from the farm’s own wind turbine.


Balanced Energy Networks

Innovate UK awarded £2.9m towards the £4m BEN Consortium which has built a Balanced Energy Network at London South Bank University to demonstrate innovations in integrated energy supply chains.

The Balanced Energy Network incorporates a heat sharing network which is designed to provide a more cost effective, flexible, and scalable alternative to conventional district heating network technology. Heat sharing networks transfer warmth via piping circuits between buildings at near ground temperature and extract it via heat pumps in each building: fifth generation district heating and cooling networks.

Buildings which need cooling use heat pumps to reject heat to the ground circuit – to the benefit of those that need heating.

The buildings in the network contribute to load balancing of the Grid, and earn revenue, by using Demand Side Response across the Internet of Things.

On 6 November 2018 the Balanced Energy Network was announced as the winner of The Engineer’s Collaborate to Innovate Award in the Energy and Environment category for its Fifth Generation District Heat Network which uses groundwater heat pumps.


Bath Abbey

Underfloor heating is being installed at Bath Abbey. The Abbey will be heated by heat pumps installed in its basement by isoenergy which will transfer heat from the waste water at around 37°C from the subterranean Roman drains that carry over a million litres of water a day from the Roman Baths down to the River Avon.

Don’t let anyone tell you that heat pumps can only be installed in new buildings.

Regent's Park

Cambridge Terrace

Half of Cambridge Terrace is being refurbished as a single dwelling – the largest residence in London after Buckingham Palace.

ground source energy system has been chosen for this Grade 1 listed Nash terrace to provide renewable heating and renewable cooling. The terrace will be cooled in summer by transferring heat down to a thermalbank in the ground. When heating is required in winter, heat will be recycled back to the building from the thermalbank to maintain a comfortable temperature in the building all year round.

Old Oak Common

Crossrail Depot

Bombardier’s new depot for its Crossrail fleet will have 33% of its energy demand met by renewable energy when it opens in 2018. It will benefit from ground source heating and cooling, photovoltaics and solar thermal and generate annual savings of £100,000. The installation by GI Energy for Taylor Woodrow is expected to achieve a ten year payback, as well as saving 530 tonnes of CO2 a year.


Decarbonised District Heating for three Housing Estates

High temperature water source heat pumps have been installed in the Southwark plant rooms of three community housing estates – serving 2,175 homes – to provide base load heating in place of the gas boilers which were previously used.

The ICAX high temperature 600kW heat pumps are designed to provide a high temperature flow to the building so that existing heat distribution systems do not need to be refurbished. This saves time and avoids disruption so that retrofits can proceed with no disturbance to people living in the buildings.


GSHP retrofit replaces oil heating

The owners of an old property near Corwen in Denbighshire recently opted for ground source heating to help curb their energy bills.

Dragon Drilling installed a ground source heat pump system to replace the old oil fired boiler which had been supplemented by burning coal and wood to curb the annual bills of over £3,000. The old system had provided part time heating – but even then had struggled to keep the building up to temperature.

The owners had reported that with the old system, “We never felt truly warm”.


Heat Pump Efficiencies

The first ever Renewable Heat Incentive accredited system was a 26kw water source heat pump which heats a 750m² office development in Yorkshire. A report published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 11 February 2016 showed that it was also the most efficient of those monitored by an independent consultant. The one year study, which looked at both the efficiency of the heat pump and the efficiency of the whole heating system, revealed that the system installed by Earthtest Energy for Booth Brothers (Printers) Ltd was a huge 70% more efficient than the mean performance of the other systems monitored, and beat its nearest rival by 20%.

The report concluded “that it is possible to design, install and operate heat pump systems that provide a high seasonal performance factor, but that this high level of performance is not being realised on some installations”.


Merton Community Centre

The architects for the Merton Community Centre decided to go for the “elegant” solution in which one integrated system could provide both heating in summer and cooling in winter (as well as hot water all year round and the freedom not to have to organise, feed and manage a biomass boiler).


Precision Engineering Factory

Ground source energy has been chosen for a new precision engineering factory in order to provide renewable heating and renewable cooling. Machining of components in exotic metals requires air temperatures to be controlled very precisely in order to meet the exacting tolerances required by aerospace clients. The new factory is cooled in summer by transferring surplus heat down to a borehole field in the ground. When heat is required in winter, heat is recycled back to the building from the borehole field to maintain a comfortable temperature in the building all year round. This is achieved by an automated system that balances the temperature in the building with the stable temperature natural to the ground by transferring heat from the ground in winter and storing surplus heat in the ground in summer: this achieves recycling of heat using precision engineering.

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