Location, location, location…..biomass and Penrhyn Castle

Figure 1 - Penrhyn Castle during one of those rare dry and sunny days!

Figure 1 – Penrhyn Castle during one of those rare dry and sunny days!

Elgan is Project Manager for the REI programme at Penrhyn Castle. For his sins he has to share an office with Keith and I (who as you know are never short of an opinion). Guest blog from Elgan on progress to date:

It’s been over a year now since Keith blogged about the early investigations into renewable heating of Penrhyn Castle and the difficulty of finding a route for a heat main across that magnificent Grand Hall! …Well I’m pleased to say that the challenge has now been passed on to me!

A few renewable heating options have been looked at for the site; ground and air source heat pumps, solar and biomass.  But we concluded that biomass is the most suitable and cost-effective option for heating the whole site and avoids extensive groundworks of a ground source heat pump in this historic setting (Grade I listed building and the Grade II* registered park and gardens!).

So where do we hide a biomass building, and do we actually want to hide it?  Interestingly enough, the answer may be both yes and no…. we do not want it to visually impact the castle and gardens but we want visitors to see it, engage with it and learn about it.

Figure 2 – would a timber clad biomass building similar to the visitor centre in the background blend in well here?

Figure 2 – would a timber clad biomass building similar to the visitor centre in the background blend in well here?

Figure 3 – potential route for a heat main up to the castle?

Figure 3 – potential route for a heat main up to the castle?

Below are some of the ideas we came up with for locating the biomass “energy centre” and soon enough we will have final plans to submit for planning – I will keep you posted!

Figure 4 – Here, here or here – where can the biomass building and heat main go?

Figure 4 – Here, here or here – where can the biomass building and heat main go?

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