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ACR and Heat Pump Awards 2016

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Geowarmth achievements recognised at the National ACR and Heat Pump Awards

Geowarmth were finalists in 3 categories at one of the major industry award events - the 2016 National ACR & Heat Pump Awards 2016 held at Birmingham Town Hall in January 2016.

At the prestigious awards ceremony Geowarmth were highly commended as runner up in both the Domestic Ground Source Heat Pump Project and the Domestic Air Source Heat Pump Project.  Geowarmth were also shortlisted as Heat Pump Installer of the Year.

A summary of Geowarmth's results at the ACR & Heat Pump Awards 2016 is as follows:

  • Domestic Ground Source Project: runner up and highly commended
  • Domestic Air Source Project: runner up and highly commended
  • Heat Pump Installer of the Year: shortlisted

More details of Geowarth's entries are as follows:

Domestic Ground Source Project: runner up

A derelict mill cottage was purchased in Northumberland in 2006 and became the longest project ever filmed by Grand Designs when the clients moved in to the property in Christmas 2010. Everything was great apart from the heating which did not heat the property well and was costing a fortune to run. The clients suffered it for some years until they decided something had to change. They wanted something that worked and would be economical to run. Having bought a ground source heat pump and underfloor heating (from others) they were bemused at why it was not working as expected and needed help to find a solution.

Geowarmth visited the property and inspected the installation and found the heating system was not such a grand design. A ground source heat pump barely half the required capacity had been installed by others some years previously. Geowarmth priced and put forward a choice of solutions that would all work well. There were differences in capital cost, choice of technology, running costs and RHI payments, all clearly documented and explained to the clients.

Geowarmth demonstrated that ground source heat pumps would be more environmentally friendly with no CO2 emissions on site and provided calculations of CO2 savings as well as tabulating the running cost savings of ground source heat pumps. The client was convinced and opted for the two new 10kW Nibe ground source heat pumps and ground loops. Whilst the most expensive installation option it was going to be the best choice in the long run.

The clients emailed Geowarmth after their first Christmas with the new installation and said "We had a lovely Christmas in a beautifully warm home for the first time ever! Thank you. Everything is working well. Your team are a credit to you."

A "Grand Designs" house really should have a grand heating system but this mill cottage certainly did not have one that was fit for purpose originally. Curiously the original undersized ground source heat pump did not actually feature on the tv programme...perhaps as well! Not until the experience of Geowarmth was sought was the heating system a grand design and one that would now be worthy of featuring on the famous programme.

 

Domestic Air Source Project: runner up

A Yorkshire family had the unfortunate experience of coming home one day to find their house being gutted by a fire. Other than the walls the house needed rebuilding and the oil heating system also needed replacing along with the heat emitters. An opportunity presented itself not to replace like with like. Insulation standards were improved and floors replaced. Underfloor heating was a possibility which in turn introduced the idea of a heat pump.

Early contact was needed with a specialist who could advise on the viability of renewables. Geowarmth guided the client on the possibilities. Given that all the floors were being renewed underfloor heating was viable. Limited ground space or access for a drilling rig meant that a ground source heat pump was not an easy solution. However with the client's preference for heating plant in the garage and a convenient location immediately outside the garage for an external unit, an air source heat pump would be a good choice. Having visited the site and recommended floor insulation levels to go with the underfloor heating Geowarmth undertook heat loss calculations and established that the Mitsubishi Ecodan 8.5kW model would be a perfect fit.

When Mitsubishi were planning the launch of their latest controller (FTC5) and were looking for a trial site for the new kit and an experienced installer Geowarmth were asked to do the first UK installation.

Geowarmth undertook calculations of running costs using an air source heat pump and compared these with the energy use and costs if an oil boiler were again selected to heat the property. The heat pump provided a more favourable result from a cost perspective and with no C02 emissions on site it was also a more environmentally friendly solution.

Geowarmth also considered that the client would become a larger electricity user with a heat pump and the south facing roof which was also being replaced provided an opportunity to install PV panels to provide on site generation of electricity and further reduce the property's carbon 

A wifi interface was installed to allow the heat pump to connect to the internet via Mitsubishi's MEL Cloud which allows mobile telephone or computer access to the heat pump for control of the unit and reports of energy use and costs. Temperature history, electrical consumption and costs can all be monitored.

From being an old badly insulated property with high heating bills, with the insulation improvements made the house now has an EPC rating of 80 and much lower running costs.  The clients have achieved their aspiration of having a heating system with lower running costs and a house with a lower carbon footprint.

 

 Heat Pump Installer of the Year: shortisted

Like all heating appliances, heat pumps do not last forever and Geowarmth now have a lot of experience in both repairing heat pumps and providing replacements where the original heat pump(s) have come to the end of their economic life. In order to ensure effective maintenance and servicing, Geowarmth personnel have appropriate electrical and FGas qualifications in order to deal with matters such as compressor replacements.

The judges reviewed a number of Geowarmth's recent projects including the replacement of 2 noisy heat pumps served by pond loops with quieter machines and the installation of a new open loop system where the original water source heat pump was becoming noisy and unreliable.  The latter provides an interesting case study.

Coincidentally having just done a replacement heat pump install in a mill house (Domestic Ground Source Project above) this open loop system was in a house with a water mill. Geowarmth initially attended to undertake a capacitor replacement but underlying concerns remained about the 12 year old open loop machine. Accordingly Geowarmth looked at the logistics of replacing the heat pump, open loop pipework and water source circulation pump which turned out to be feasible. Open loop heat pump systems are not as common as closed loop ones but Geowarmth have experience in this area. With a new installation including the water source side the client would also be able to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive. Geowarmth further advised that a new heat pump would be more efficient than the one being replaced. Whilst this is an easy statement to make, it was based on Geowarmth's assessment of the old machine, reivew of running costs and comparisons of COP with a newer machine. It was also a statement that was gong to be open to scrutiny by a client who had energy monitoring on individual elements of his property and who kept daily records of consumption. Post installation Geowarmth received regular updates from the client which demonstrated a reduction in energy consumption of 25%. Emails from the client are testimony to his satisfaction.

On 11 March he wrote: "I now have some 12 days worth of economy 7 night time readings. The average consumption in the overnight period for the last 12 days is 31.3 kWh. The average consumption in the overnight period for the 12 days immediately prior to the installation of the new heat pump is 41.75 kWh.  I make that a 25% improvement. The external temperatures were similar over the two periods and there is a further improvement in comfort levels in the house. The temperature in the garage is down around 3 to 4 degrees so that is part of the saving. There were obviously higher heat losses with the old unit.  So well done Geowarmth for alerting me to the fact that Heat Pump technology had moved on and a benefit of installing a new unit would be lower electricity bills."

On 1 April he wrote further " I now have more data on the new heat pump performance. The latest chart is attached. It confirms that the improvement is 25% plus. You can now assure future clients with confidence that replacing an old heat pump brings about significant benefits!"

 

The replacement heat pump market will be a growing part of our sector going forward and Geowarmth have been leading the way and are already demonstrating some key successes in this area... and notably in mill houses!

 

 

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