Penrhyn Castle – how would you heat this house?

One Penrhyn many towers. the 4000m2 of insulation which was installed a while ago gives un an idea of the floor area

One of Penrhyn’s many towers. the 4000m2 of insulation which was installed a while ago gives us an idea of the floor area we need to heat

well we have started with the biggest beast in the land. Penrhyn Castle is currently undergoing an evaluation to make it more efficient and to move it off oil. Penrhyn has been left off the work list for a while. The main reason being is that it underwent what we call re-service to over haul its fire, security, electrical and heating systems. But time flies and this was 10 years ago. Many of the mansion in Wales are now moving towards more sustainable heating schemes and it is time to work with the team at Penrhyn. But it’s not an easy building to work with. Unlike may of the others with their centralised boiler plant and circular heat distribution systems, Penrhyn has many large boilers in cellars, up stairs and round corners.  Have a feeling that this is going to be a little bit of everything job

I Spy book of boilers. Rob getting to know the castles heating scheme

I Spy book of boilers. Rob getting to know the castles heating scheme. these are but two of the many boilers in the castle

the first task is to get to know the building then move on to understand what it needs in terms of heat. Thirdly we move on to optimising what we have and finally we decide what will generate the heat. My heart thinks biomass but my brain kicks in with the many issues in terms of storage refueling, distribution, management, cost and so on. But first let’s get to know the building and also what we are asking of the building – commercially, conservation and residential. Options include biomass, heat pump, LPG, new mains gas supply or any combination. We also need to focus on lowering the load by controlling better, secondary glazing, ventilation control and so on. Think this could be slow burn in terms of completion but we have a heating strategy to plan and then start doing. First steps are to get a detailed understanding of whats there and what it’s doing (relative humidity control and oil use), then we move on to modeling the mansion terms of heat loss to see what we need

this is a small part of the distribution system. we are asking a lot of the building and thefore need to accommodate for the differing needs with the heating

This is a small part of the distribution system. We are asking a lot of the building and therefore need to accommodate for the differing needs with the heating

surprises around every corner. Penrhyn still has a lot of 'opportunities' as we call them!

Surprises around every corner. Old electric stove. Penrhyn still has a lot of ‘opportunities’ as we call them!

 

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3 Responses to Penrhyn Castle – how would you heat this house?

  1. Robin Bowen says:

    Hi Keith. Is there a body of water nearby. If there is we would recommend Nibe water source heat pumps. Boreholes would be too expensive and biomass of any kind would spoil the aesthetics. We are currently installing such a system at Aberglasney Gardens. Come over and have a look. Robin. Good Life Incorporated.

    • Keith Jones says:

      we have quite a bit of experince with heat pumps and because of the reduced flow temp and the small rads which are part of the features of the building i doubt it would reach target temps. But we are starting with understanding the building and modeling the heat loss of mansion. we ae curretly working on a 360kw heatpump for another mansion close by and its all in the detailing. ps no body of water near by Penrhyn. another factor is the mansion does not have a centralised distribution system and is all heated from different parts which don’t join. (pps did call in the shop when i said i would on the linkedin)

      • Robin Bowen says:

        Hi Keith
        Was sorry to have missed you as you are heading what seems to be a massive shift with the National Trust. We have been told by the building contractor that we are the lowest on a project at Carew castle so we still might get to bump into each other.
        Don’t know what kind of monies you have to play with at Penrhyn but you could opt for biomass with electricity generation as a by product. Very expensive but you could heat the largest part of the build with the biomass and use the electricity generated to heat the rest electrically. We can even fund the who.e project on an Esco which would see you still having to pay a much reduced rate on your energy bills but the whole project would be supplied, fuelled and maintained for free. Could be the answer you are looking for on such a complex project. 07721 577036 if your interested.

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