Norfolk Ground Source Heat Pumps Project

Property type: 13 properties comprising of three 2-bedroom houses, two 3-bedroom houses and eight two-bedroom bungalows across three North Norfolk villages

Project shortlisted for the National Heat Pump Awards 2012

Product installed: 13 x 6kW ground source heat pumps with an integral hot water tank in each property

Distribution system: Radiators sized for each room allowing for the lower flow temperatures

Installation date: January to March 2012

Ice Energy performed a series of site surveys and heat loss calculations on the properties to establish the heat requirements for each one. Using this information, they were able to establish what sort of renewable energy system would meet the requirements of both the tenants and the housing association and specify a ground source heat pump to meet those needs.
The ground source heat pumps were specified to work using radiators as the heat emitters suitably sized to accommodate the lower flow temperatures provided by the heat pumps. The decision to use ground source heat pumps came largely due to the huge success the housing association has had with them on their new build developments and from previous experience with another retro fit project 18 months ago which demonstrated lower running costs and ease of use by the residents.

Energy savings from the ground source heat pumps
According to figures from the Energy Saving Trust the average property requires  approximately 1,200 KW hours of energy for heating purposes. Ice Energy have examples of 3 bedroom properties using just 800 KW hours when using heat pumps to provide all heating and hot water requirements which therefore offers potentially huge reductions.

Project timescales
The project started in early January 2012 with a completion deadline of end of March  2012 in order to qualify for the Renewable Heat Premium Payments (RHPP). The RHPP was a subsidy for which Ice Energy were able to assist in the application of. Only a handful of Registered Social Landlords (RSL’s) across the UK were able to claim part of the overall RHPP pot so the ability to win the grant was obviously a major benefit for the housing association.

Due to the nature of the timescales imposed by the RHPP qualification criteria, it was imperative that everything went to plan. The first milestone was to complete the drilling of boreholes for heat pumps, which despite a stubborn seam of flint at the first site and the area being covered in snow creating difficult drilling conditions, was completed by early February. 
The next milestone was to complete all the installations by the end of March cut-off date and this was successfully achieved with the last heat pump being installed and commissioned by Ice Energy on 9th March.

Solutions Used

  • 13 x 6kW ground source heat pumps with integral hot water tanks
  • Groundworks featured borehole drilled ground loop
  • Ground source heat pumps combined with new radiator heating system
  • Insulated heavy duty GRP cabinet implemented enabling heat pumps to be located outside and adjacent to the properties
  • Project funded via a successful tender submitted to the Energy Saving Trust under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme