The NT in Wales are in the final stretch in terms of getting off oil on its heating in its in-hand buildings across Wales but we still have with a couple of years to go (as ever this is another blog) But in Snowdonia the team at the property are taking the lessons from our holiday cottage heating research and applying them to some our farms and overhauling them in a very green way. Yesterday I was with Emyr Hall the building surveyor for the NT having a nose at one of the works in progress. Namely the overhaul to re-let of a small 30 acre farm overlooking the estate. Lots of normal things going on which included new LED lighting all over the farm and generally getting the empty property ready but also a new heating system with this being a 17kw NIBE ground source heat pump.
The cottage needed a new radiator system and so this was sized to take the lower temp of a heat pump. Our first for the NT was the installation of the heat collector in nearby field. But this was not our normal coil buried 1.7m meters down but a mole ploughed collector which was ploughed in 600mm deep and at just under 700m meters in length which was achieved in 2 days. This drastically reduced the installation cost (mole ploughing is roughly half the price of a buried coil which is roughly half the price of a borehole system) yes you need more surface area based on the shallowness of the collector but the efficiency is still there. The speed of the install which was roughly 2 days for the plumbing and 2 days for the plough reduced the capital cost significantly (but you do need a field close by!) Emyr has quite a few more heat pump systems in the pipeline as it were. (ps based on the previous HFC blog NIBIE are one of those companies with an eye to the future with an easily replaced / slotted out compressor for a non HFC future)