NORTH WEST REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Phillip Metcalf
Business Name: Cooling and Heating Services
Please tell us about a project you are particularly proud of – what was the problem and how did you solve it for the customer?
We recently upgraded the heating controls for an events building/recording studio in Clitheroe for a local charity. The existing heating/cooling controls were attempting to control various parts of the building and various systems together which included ducted air conditioning systems, wet underfloor heating loops, radiators and trench heaters supplied by two separate boilers located at opposite ends of the building. The client had asked us to comprehend the existing system firstly and then to make recommendations for its improvement as it had never been effective since its original installation.
Following two days of investigations identifying control wiring around the building, finding some bizarre things, for example zone valves hidden beneath oak floors nextdoor to a boiler room, and various issues surrounding the attempt to use a barrage of relays to amalgamate multiple heating/cooling zones onto a four thermostats meant that all we could suggest to the client was a complete overhaul of the existing system.
The building posed further challenges to overcome, it was newly built in 2003 to very high standards to present the look of a much older building, so its external construction is of solid stone, oak and slate with the very dense internal walls all being of solid construction including soundproofing for the recording studio. This meant that to use any conventional wireless type of control system would be near impossible, furthermore due to the high quality finish of the building it would be very difficult to begin to rewire and fit new control cabling throughout the building.
Based on our findings the solution we offered to the client was to:
1) Remove four of the five air conditioning systems as they had failed, fan motors had seized through lack of use and parts were obsolete. The low usage of the a/c systems was largely down to the building being a cool building, having such thick walls, high ceilings, sparadic occupancy and being based in Lancashire (it’s not known for its warm climate!) The fifth a/c split system is located in the gym and operational with some use, fortunately this is a stand alone unit and the controls had not been integrated like the others so it was left in situ for future use.
2) Rewire the entire heating system using the existing wiring where possible and wireless controls where new cables could not be fitted or to fit new cables if it could be done carefully, respecting the decor.
3) Fit a controls package that would tie together the various different heat emitters which included 4 UFH manifolds with multiple loops, 4 electronically activated radiators, 2 fan assisted trench heaters and various other radiators, then couple them to the two different boilers enabling simple end user control.
4) An internet connected control package owing to the sporadic occupancy of the building, a major plus point to the client would be to have the ability to activate remotely the heating and program time schedules remotely prior to any visitor’s arrival, thereby removing the need for someone to physically visit the building to do this manually.
Products used and why?
Heatmiser Neo Stat controls package including hardwired Neostats, Neoair wireless stats, Heatmiser remote temperature sensors, Heatmiser underfloor heating control centers and actuators, a Neohub and a Neoultra central control,
Due to the nature of the building (e.g. thick stone walls), it didn’t lend itself to the majority of the wireless controls on the market today, as they operate using what’s known as a ‘star network’. A heating control that uses a star network will have one central piece of kit (a central hub) that broadcasts the wireless network to all the thermostats connected to it, the thermostats can then only communicate with that central point and are completely oblivious to each other. This means the wireless signal can only ever penetrate so far from that central point, for example in this scenario if a room was on one side of the building and the central hub was on the other side, the control would find it extremely difficult to read a signal through so many stone walls.
The Heatmiser Neostat range uses whats known as a ‘mesh network’, this works differently in that each hardwired thermostat can communicate with it’s next nearest neighbour thermostat (or any other in it’s range) and visa-versa and so each individual thermostat (effectively becomes a central hub in itself) can broadcast the network signal further and further through a building. Meaning a large building with multiple barriers can be overcome; we were able to offer full app based remote controllability of the entire heating system covering the whole building simply by using well placed neostats. As far as we are aware from our research the Heatmiser Neo Stat is the only control on the market that could provide this mesh network solution.
Tell what was different or unique about this job? Why does it stand out?
This job was certainly a challenge in many ways, initially is was very difficult identifying how the system was configured originally which was necessary in order to be able to offer the correct solution to the client and to identify what needed to be changed. The re-wiring of some parts and clever siting of the neostats were critical to getting the system mesh network to operate throughout the building, round the thick stone walls and sound proofed rooms. Buildings like this are always difficult to fit and install anything into but we did a great job and the customer was pleased with how sympathetic we had been to the building’s aesthetics. It stands out as one of those jobs were we feel we really made a huge difference to both the building users comfort levels, the manager’s life in terms of free time, the charity that runs the buildings running costs and also the environment. It truly was a rewarding, win win project.
And finally, tell us what the end result was for your customer, for example, no more call outs, reduced energy bills:
The building is only used on certain days, and on those days only certain rooms are used. With the new Heatmiser controls, the customer can remotely control the heating so that the whole building is at an appropriate temperature in time for when people are arriving. More importantly, sections of the building can now be controlled. For example, if someone is going to be using a particular room or the recording studio, the Neostats allow the client to heat that specific room. Rather than attempting to heat the entire building and waste a huge amount of energy, furthermore the new controls allow the rooms temperature to be tailored to the occupiers need, for example if the main hall is being used for a dance class then the temperature can be lower than if meeting or training course is running in there, which again represents a huge saving in energy and improved comfort levels for end users. This is especially true now as the previous thermostat controls were located together in a server room with no timeclock function, (let alone remote accessibility). As they also had no remote temperature sensors it meant all four thermostats used the server rooms ambient temperature reading rather than the rooms they were controlling, so the end users comfort levels were very poor previously as some rooms were blistering hot and some were baltic and cold.
All this system is then backed up with greater support when a fault occurs as we the installers can login to their system remotely (with their permission) to help us identify which area or room has failed and from that we then know which boiler is associated with that area/room or which underfloor heating manifold is not operating and so arrive having pin pointed the fault. This is a great help in a larger building with multiple pieces of equipment in various areas and ultimately saves the client costs on labour for the future.
SOUTH EAST REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Todd Glister
Business Name: Glister Services
My favourite project I carried out this year was for my old engineering teacher at school. He remembered that when I left school I was going into a plumbing apprenticeship and asked around for my number and asked me to come and do a complete refurb on his new house that he had just bought. After surveying his property and planning the best order on doing things, I won the job over 6 other quotations. A lot of the other engineers were having problems with flow rates and where to locate a new system for the house, but I decided to use a downstairs room for a new system and downstairs loo and utility room which they were over the moon about. As not only did this save room in their new-to-be kitchen. It also gave purpose to this weird in the middle room to which they wasn’t sure what to do with. It also located very well with a new gas run (directly below in the basement) and re running new pipework, (to which I found a route where other installers were failing to do).
Which products did you select for the job and why?
For the plant room, I installed a Vaillant EcoTec Plus 837 on an S Plan using a 300litre In-direct Megaflo as I really think the internal expansion makes things look a lot neater. I had 3 zones, one for the Zhender Charleston Radiators fitted throughout, a zone for the hot water and one for the polypipe underfloor heating manifold installed in their new kitchen. All controlled from Nest 3rd generation Smart thermostats (one for the ufh and the other for the rads) my customer didn’t want upstairs and downstairs zones, they wanted one for the whole system. I also installed a Stuart and Turner Mainsboost 450l accumulator with an Aquabion installed before it. This had outstanding results and gave the customer 30l+ of hot water per minute. On top of their plant room, I installed two new bathrooms with shower trays from Merlyn, enclosures and taps and shower fittings from Crosswater, and a bath and WC’s from Duravit, I also completely designed them both, as I did for the downstairs utility room too.
Tell what was different or unique about this job? Why does it stand out?
What I loved about this job was the trust I had from my client and being able to fully explore and enjoy an installation. By putting a ply wall up and plan my pipework runs carefully as I only had 4-5 joists to put everything into below (as it’s a Victorian house) I was able to install a system with practically no crossovers in the pipework making the pipework installation almost as flat to the ply as possible and lining my talon clips up perfectly across the installation and making sure the pipework was always evenly spaced. I also enjoyed the challenge of being asked to install underfloor heating zone, way after the installation was complete as they decided to go for it in the kitchen.
After the pressure of being trusted to install a system from my old engineering teacher (who still had his hawk eye for perfection) it really warmed my heart after he told me that even with a beautifully renovated home, he always shows who ever is visiting the plumbing installation as it’s his favourite bit and is loving the reduced bills and reviving monthly reports from his Nest thermostats, as you can imagine, going from an old gravity hot water system that not only was set to constant but also had the immersion plugged in constantly as well, and with 3 gas fires constantly going he has saved a dramatic amount of money each year on bills. Not only that, he had his only shower downstairs which was un-balanced on the mains and gravity hot water which he was sick to death of. He now has a perfectly balanced system and is enjoying home life more than ever.
NORTH EAST REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Matthew Stoves
Business Name: Nigel Stoves Plumbing & Heating Ltd
The project I am most proud of Was being tasked with designing and installing a new commercial boiler cascade within the bell tower of a local church (Eaglescliffe All saints church) along with a complete new heating system for the main church. We were tasked with decommissioning separate boilers located in seperate parts of the church and installing the new boilers within the bell tower of and piping all the seperate heating zones from the new boilers including extra heating zones which are due to be added as the church plans to build extensions. The heating system includes a Viessmann commercial cascade with two highly efficient Viessmann 200 boilers with low loss header and associated heating manifold, pumps and zone valves. The main church involved removing all the 4” cast iron heating pipework and replying it for a much more efficient copper pipework system with vented radiators for greater efficiency. A major problem the customer had with the previous system, was the lack of a time clock, which meant the caretaker would have to arrive at the church in the early hours of the morning to manually switch the boilers on in order to heat the church before events could begin. In order to solve this problem we installed Nest pro thermostats for every heating zone within the church so that the priest can monitor each zone for heating from the comfort of his bed.
Which products did you select for the job and why?
Viessmann boilers for their quality, reliability and efficiency. Boilermag magnetic commercial filter to protect the system. Low loss header to prolong the life of the boilers due to decreased boiler start ups and increased system efficiency. Nest pro thermostats on all heating zones to ensure that only the rooms that need heat are heated which further reduces energy bills. Grundfos magna one heating pumps for efficiency and reliability.
What I believe to be unique about this job was the boiler room being situated on the first floor within the bell tower of the church. The polished and lacquered copper had core holes drilled within the concrete floor of the tower which it passed through and on show down the wall in the entrance of the church which resembled the look of the organ tubes. I also believe the attention to detail on the installation of the boiler and all the pipework within the tower also stand out due to its design and symmetry.
The end results for our customers and the Eaglescliffe all saints Church was a highly efficient and reliable heating system which can be operated remotely by a mobile device. The reduction in energy bills have been vastly reduced due to the new heating system, future servicing costs have been reduced due to the reliable German Viessmann commercial boilers which included extended 10 years warranties.
YORKSHIRE & HUMBER REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Grant Gundelfinger
Business Name: Mayfly Group Ltd
I feel this job gives a good indication of the level of expertise, care and service that I provide to all my customers. I was asked by our customer to quote to replace an ageing boiler that had reached the point of uneconomical repair. They had issues with degradation in their cast iron radiators, slow heat up times and a boiler that was wholly inefficient. There were no temperature controls and access to work the system was in the basement. On inspection of the system, I discovered that the floor standing, cast iron radiators were in a poor condition and the expansion vessel for the heating circuit had failed. A system water sample showed that there was no longer any form of chemical protection in the water, with advanced corrosion causing many of the top floor radiators to fill with air and hydrogen that required venting on a regular basis. Once I discovered the problems, I discussed their long terms plans for their home to find a solution best suited to their needs (for example, I find that budget rather than performance becomes a major consideration if clients have plans to move within a short period of time). After discussing the pros and cons of various solutions suitable for their home, I offered them three options; to have the system repaired, to replace the inefficient boiler and controls, or to have the system fully replaced. As they were planning to stay for the long term they chose to replace the boiler and controls and decided to refurbish or replace the cast iron radiators as a part of their longer term renovation plans. I explained about the efficiency benefits of the new boiler, sized and range rated correctly for their house, fitted with compatible controls and a means of separating the two different zones. Ironically, since my last entry, these clients were also due to have their first child within days of our planned deadline with no real alternative place to stay whilst the works were carried out. I knew I had to work in a relatively tight timeframe and complete it in less than a week to minimise their inconvenience before the baby arrived. Unfortunately, yet again, the delivery of the boiler, controls and plate heat exchanger were very late in the first few days, arriving in stages, so I was up against the clock once again, with very little time to complete the job. Despite being on a tight schedule, I feel it is always important to protect the client’s property and belongings from dirt and damage, and work in a considerate way, especially when the property is occupied so it is safe for everyone to move around. I spent time covering vulnerable areas using adhesive floor protector and sheets where necessary. I explained that there may be some inconvenience but asked the clients if it was ok for me to work over the weekend, if necessary, in order to keep my promise of heating and hot water by the end of the week. They were more than happy that I was prepared to do so. After putting in the hard yards, I kept to my promise and by Sunday night I had completed the works with minimal disruption, cleaning up properly when I had finished.
Because the property required 19.75kW of heat – having done my heat loss calculations for the property prior to the installation – I recommended a Vaillant ecoTEC Green IQ 627 system boiler since it is capable of being range rated. It is a 4 pipe system boiler, meaning it has an internal diverter which allows the boiler to also directly control and heat an external cylinder, with a high level of modulation capability (1:10), and efficiency benefits such as a self-setting gas valve, primary flow monitoring and management, and intelligent control compatibility along with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty. It also uses the best components in the industry, allowing for easy maintenance and repairs. I also fitted the VR70 wiring centre, to simplify the system wiring, which works in perfect harmony with their Vaillant VRC700 2 zone controls with weather compensation to help run the heating system at it’s optimum in terms of heating the house and also saving the customer money by running as economically as possible. The addition of a VR920 Gateway also allowed them remote access and control via the internet. I chose to fit a 40kW plate heat exchanger from UK Heat Exchangers (the smallest that they offer), to hydraulically separate the boiler from the rest of the system due to the age of the radiators and the clients plans to gradually change them. This would also provide protection to the new installation and my clients investment! I elected to keep the system on the radiator side pressurised as it was already, to minimise corrosion issues. I chose to use an IMI Hydronic expansion vessel, deliberately oversized, as there was a possibility that the clients would increase the size of the replacement radiators. This was fitted with IMI’s servicing lockshield to ensure that the expansion vessel could be easily maintained to reduce water wastage when servicing, and minimise inconvenience should the vessel need to be repaired or replaced in the future (this is something that I do as standard on my installations). I upgraded the pumps using Wilo Stratos Pico 25/1-6. I have found Wilo pumps to be fantastic value with excellent performance and reliability, with the capability of modulating as low as 0.5m head, allowing an easy set-up and the perfect balance of a heating system without the need for flow management systems. Two sets of ‘Perfect Pump Valves’, which are reliable and easy to dismantle, made for easy maintenance or replacement of the pumps in the future. Since the boiler was installed in the basement, I had to fit a remote pressure relief valve and condensate pump. Vaillant’s own products were the logical choice for both of these. Their EcoLevel condensate pump works in harmony with their controls and operating system. I fitted Vaillant’s own Protection filter on the primary circuit, with an Adey Magnaclean XP filter on the heating circuit, along with Spirotech’s Spirovent for passive deaeration to help reduce issues with corrosion. The system was thoroughly powerflushed using flushing points that I always install to ensure that further maintenance flushes are easy to perform.
With all my installations I always think about the future and maintenance of a system when planning and specifying for my clients. I plan my work methodically, normally giving myself plenty of time to do a neat and thorough job and this job was no exception. The task of designing and installing a system utilising a plate heat exchanger had it’s own unique challenges and made the installation far from conventional for a domestic installation however it was definitely the best for this property. Even if pipes are concealed they are given the same care as those on show, as aesthetics as well as performance are important to me. Even though the time frame was short, I proved that I was able to produce another excellent result, making good use of my skills and ability, relying on my experience to complete the project in a timely fashion.
And finally, tell us what the end result was for your customer, for example, no more call outs, reduced energy bills:
The end result was that the client had a superb heating system fitted with increased efficiency (with a gas meter that wasn’t running excessively) and peace of mind that their Vaillant installation will give them many years of reliable performance. They were so impressed that they called the following day to tell me that they had never felt so warm. Needless to say, they were very happy with the result and now, having had a bouncing baby girl, have already seen a good reduction in their energy consumption with a home that is as cosy as could be
MIDLANDS REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Daljit Singh Rasouda
Business Name: Heat Mania – Dynamic Heating Solutions
Located in the historic county of Warwickshire, my project began in Coventry on a 7 bedroom new build domestic property, having 8 bathrooms. The aim of the project was to ensure that their was a sufficient heating fix. My task began in 1 of the 2 plant rooms. The plant room enabled the house to be sectioned into two to ensure there was adequate heating and hot water supplied accordingly throughout the entire house. The new build required underfloor heating not only on the ground floor but the 1st floor too. The second floor required radiators and all the bathrooms required separate zoned towel rails. For me to meet the customers requirements and needs it was the plant room whereby my imagination and skills came to life. The plant room is feeding four underfloor manifolds and five bathrooms balancing hot and cold supplies with return hot water. This contributes to a total of 8 manifolds in this project
The plant room I have submitted consists of two Vaillant boilers, being a Vaillant advance installer this was in my interest. To ensure the customer was never without heating. Rather than installing one 64kw Vaillant Eco Tech plus boiler, I installed two 30kw Vaillant Eco Teach plus boilers. This certified that if there was ever a breakdown there was always a plan B. A 500 ltr Telford unvented cylinder for domestic hot water supply was used, this will ensure that the customer will be supplied with hot water smoothly without any obstacles. A low loss header was also used to enable a sufficient flow for 4 underfloor manifold pumps and one external additional pump. This ensured that there was a regulating flow rate which resulted in the efficiency and performance for the system. 7 Honeywell zone valves for the separations of the zones were installed. I felt that Honeywell, being as realisable as it is would do the job the best in the system. A-rated Grundfos Magna 1 circulator was inputted not only was it simple to install it requires minimal maintenance and has a long life. Once again ensuring the customer was happy with this installation, they were reassured it has low energy consumption. Willow hot water circulator pump was used on the return hot water. An additional heating expansion vessel was added to allow water expansion in the system as it contains high volume of water. From a servicing point of view, the lever valves that I installed were labelled for convenience, if for any reason maintenance was to be carried out. For maintenance purposes there were two lever valves put on expansion vessel pipe, however the handles were removed so that the customer can not close them by error. A outdoor sensor was installed to maximise weather compensation along side a Vaillant VR700F. Vaillant VR72 wiring centre was used for multi zoning. Vaillant VR91 remote was used for towel rails zones. Vaillant EBus moudulating coupler VR32 will liaise with the boiler to ensure all controls communicate accordingly which will respond efficiently when changing heat loads and will modulate the boilers. For the under floor controls we used heat miszer Neo stat V2 programmable thermostats. These thermostats operate along side other gadgets in the household. So every thing is linked to the home automation system which the customer is having installed. A gastite CSST flexible gas pipe was used, the pipe ran from outside to the first floor plant room.
With no given plan or drawn up design, this plant room was unique in its own way. So with my own design the customer was given an insight to the idea I had in mind. Allowing and giving a clear understanding to the customer that with wanting a home automation system, having weather compensation would be beneficial to reduce gas bills by modulating boilers down rather than having on/off thermostats. The project in its self had over approx 600sqm of under floor heating alone on this plant room. This is a stand out to myself, making it unique from other jobs.
Having carried out this project I have put the customers house at the heart of their home. The plant room will not only be efficient but will deliver a level of comfort as well as keeping their running costs low. The customer will also benefit from weather compensation from Vaillant eBus controls. The pressure throughout the entire house also will be consistent with it being a unvented pressurised system. Having installed a 500ltr unvented cyclinder alongside it being a priority hot water system the customer will never be short of hot water in their 5 bathrooms alongside their 2 kitchens. Customer satisfaction was phenomenal, the high level of work carried out was expressed verbally by the customer themself. ‘ The work was a piece of art by a true a craftsmanship’
WALES AND NORTHERN IRELAND REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Steven Calvert
Business Name: S Calvert Plumbing and Heating
To run a oil boiler in conjunction with renuable, while maximising efficiency
Grant, imi hydronic, esby, grundfos, heatmiser. For durability and performance
The boiler runs to the 400l thermal store and is controlled with a dt control 2 sensors on the store the boiler fires when top is at 50dc and runs till bottom is 65dc then shuts down, the heating system has one towel rail zone and acts as a summer heat dump for the solar thermal once store reaches 85dc mixed down to 45dc to prevent scalding , x2 weather comped rad zones with a 50dc max flow, 1 underfloor heating zone with a max 40dc design @-3 All electronically mixed via esby valves, the solar thermal runs at a higher stagerd temp to the boiler is there is any thermal gain then this will always take priority. There is 4 bathrooms we only had a 25mm main so I utilised imi hydronic flow through vessels, lowered the pressure and used 2x25l vessels to act as accumulators for the property to stop any lag in pressure/flow,we used a grant blue flame boiler, grant solar thermal, grant thermal store, grant temperature differernlential controllers to give full compatibility, we used heatmiser neo stat throughout linked to the hub for app control, imi hydronic eclipse balancing valves throughout for perfect balance, all hot/cold outlets were flow restricted for water savings, this set up alows you to run heating circuits with out firing the boiler directly so min kw never pose a problem, you also have the benift of boiler firing for long periods normally 30 minutes but shutting down for 6+ hours that lets the boiler come up to temp when firing giving maximum efficiency, this system is working out at 10% boiler fire rate to demand rate, no cycling of the boiler can happen, and solar thermal contributs to the heating and hot water, the heating is designed at low temp for comfort and to aid in any thermal gains are maximised. This is a highly efficient system and has many small design details to increase efficiency and place as much load on the renuable as possible. All pipe sizing and rad correction factor were calculated for increased efficiency
A highly efficient system, with comfort of low temp when high temp heat sources are used, app control over the complete property with out boiler cycling, free heating and hot water in spring to autumn and thermal gains all year. Increased boiler life and even temp throughout property.
EAST OF ENGLAND REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Luke Towers
Business Name: Bruce Towers and Sons Ltd
The project in what I’m particularly proud of is a 3000sqf farm house in which we carried out the full installation including heating, hot, cold pipework and all sanitary ware and completed in may 2019. When we arrived at the house in late December 2018 to decommission the existing system we was confronted by a horror show a 1-1/2″ one pipe heating system, hot and colds running everywhere surface in galvanised pipe all fed by a old inefficient boiler with a low pressure gravity fed hot water system. after we had decommissioned the system we got started 1st fixing the new system which included new 28mm copper hot and and colds supplying 2x en-suites and a master bathroom with a 15mm MLCP secondary hot and all new waste water pipes to all appliances . Also with a new 2 pipe 28mm heating circuit for the 1st floor. For the ground floor we used pre-insulated MLCP for the hot and cold pipework to eliminate joints under the floor then 1500sqf of underfloor heating what included 5 different zones for individual temperature control. After this we started the 2nd fix for the house and we used stelrad softlines for the 1st floor with Honeywell TRV’s we also carried out the 2nd fix of the sanitary ware for 2x en-suites, master bathroom and a shower room and finally a kitchen sink and utility sink. Then came the installation of the new plant room in which I used a new grant 36/46 condensing boiler along with a low loss header, grundfos ups3 pump for a shunt pump a magna clean to protect the boiler then a grundfos magna 1 pump for a primary pump which was feed 3 motorised valves one for underfloor heating, 1stfloor heating and hotwater then a 50 litre expansion vessel for adequate expansion. For the hot and cold services we stared off by bringing a new 32mm water main in to the plant room and this fed a 250 unvented hot water cylinder which provided a constant 3 bar of working pressure with no drop if other appliances are used. I also used unistrut with rubber lined clips to eliminate as much noise as possible with in the pipework.
The products I used on this job are the ones I use on a daily basis and have the upmost confidence in because of there reliability and great back up service if there is a problem. These included Grant Oil Boilers , heatrae Cylinders , Beneath Heat Underfloor , grundfos Circulators, harlequin oil tanks, stelrad radiators and Honeywell TRV’s and motorised valves.
This job stands out for me because not only the size of this farm house but the character of the building it was never going to be easy when we had to get pipes through the house as it was different levels or not square and the customer also didn’t want to see any pipework on show. On top of this the customer had also told us how the house was always cold and had terrible water pressure so it sounded like a great project to take on.
The end result is great not only is the customer happy but they have a farmhouse which is now warm, economical to run and has great water pressure through out when other appliances in the house are running now the farm house has now been brought up to a modern standard of plumbing which is practical and liveable for the family.
SOUTH WEST REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Aaron Moore
Business Name: Harvest Cornwall
I recently fitted a wet underfloor heating system, MVHR ducting and a Viessmann ground source heat pump for a large four bed self-build. The property was in rural Cornwall, which means this couple are off the gas grid. They came to us because they were exploring alternative options to oil and LPG. Harvest Cornwall explained that a ground source heat pump was the best choice due to it having the highest COP/maximum efficiency of any heating solution – the benefit being low bills. The clients have a small lake on their land, and they asked us if we could use it as a source of energy. This was an ambitious project not because of the size of the house but this was the first time I fitted pond-mats, in a domestic property that was almost 200m away from the manifold. Six months later the couple are thrilled with their heating choice. They said they’re very happy they made the renewable choice because they now have comfortable heating all year round, in fact they’ve even had to turn it down at times. They told us they were pleased with how professional we were and how well we liaised with other tradesmen on site to ensure a smooth installation.
We installed a Viessmann Vitocal 300-G 21.2kW 3-phase, 500litre cylinder and associated Viessmann accessories. I work with Viessmann heat pumps because of the quality, they come with solid guarantees, it’s a German manufacturer that has been making heat pumps since the 70s the result is they’re the quietest on the market. I’ve never had a call back to a problem with Viessmann and that speaks louder than words for me. The house is large and the hot water outlets were at either ends of the property with the plant room separate to the house, this meant I had to fit underground thermal pipework and a secondary return so the customer could experience maximum hot water output even at the furthest water outlet. After an assessment of the lake, we determined it was possible to have pond-mats extract energy from the water source. They come in loops on sledges that are weighted on 600ml blocks and dropped to the bottom of the lake. They can’t be sitting at the bottom and must be a metre below the surface for maximum efficiency. We used a boat to float them out into the centre of the lake and had to wear wetsuits with flotation devices to position the pond-mats in the water correctly.
Pond mats, the lake is almost 200m away from the manifold. Our main challenge was ensuring the mats would extract enough heat to supply this very large house. It was crucial to accurately weight the pond -mat loops and ensure they were appropriately separated to withdraw heat, at such a distance, as efficiently as possible. I had to assess the depth, circumference and how much it drains in the year to see if it was a suitable choice of collectors. Digging away the bank was the most difficult bit, as you transition from water to ground no pipework can be exposed or surfacing at any point otherwise it decreases efficiency. It proved tricky keeping the pipework underground and covered by water but we managed it. It’s probably the most efficient heat pump I’ve fitted due to the energy source being a body of water so I’m very pleased it went as well as it did, particularly as it originally threw up more variables than usual projects.
Maximum efficiency, it’s the most efficient heat source they could get and we stopped them going with a fossil fuel. Their heat pump runs from solar panels in part and their heat is generated from their own little lake. I helped them use their natural surroundings to provide them with comfortable heating all year round from renewable sources. The client said: “We did have concerns that during the summer months we may experience a reduction in efficiency as the water levels would drop but in fact it performed really well. We’re very happy with our decision, the heat pump does its job very well, it’s really quiet and in fact since we’ve had the heating on I’ve even had to turn it down. It’s really good, can’t believe how low our energy bills are. We’re thankful for Harvest Cornwall’s advice and knowledge throughout the whole thing it made it easy to not go with oil.”
SCOTLAND REGIONAL WINNER
Name: Stuart Sugden
Business Name: Sugplumb Ltd
Please tell us about a project you are particularly proud of – what was the problem and how did you solve it for the customer?
During the summer months of 2018, we completed an installation in which we were particularly proud of. The Installation was in an old converted Coach House, built in the very early 1800’s, the property has extremely thick granite walls and large rooms that have very high heat loss values. The House is detached and has a vast amount of natural light with many windows. There were two heating systems in the home, the property had previously been split into two dwellings and only joint together 30 years ago – but the heating system was not. One half of the house was heated via a condensing gas boiler from a large LPG Tank in the garden. The other half was heated by a very old oil Rayburn, providing the main ovens, stove and hot water (From a large oil tank in the garden). The property has a stove in the main front room that was constantly running throughout the winter, using coal for a long slow burn. A large area of the garden was being wasted with the two tanks and an eye sore for the customers. The Customer’s bills were substantial, with the oil and gas combined reaching over several thousand pounds in the winter alone before any electricity bills were added. The house never really got warm, unless the customers were willing to fill up both tanks on a more regular and costly basis. During the winter of 2018 the customer’s Rayburn came to the end of its life therefore opened the customers thoughts of replacement or renovation and unification of the whole property. They were fond of the Rayburn but were becoming conscious of the impact the system was having on the environment. With this in mind the clients got in touch with ourselves and a free site survey was undertaken to discuss their requirements and assess the property/current system.
Once we had carried our free survey and discussed the wants and needs of the customer while considering the current system set up, our Renewables Manager prepared a quotation for a Ground Source Heat Pump and Solar Photovoltaic. These products were chosen due to a multitude of factors. The overall running costs compared between the ground source and solar PV versus the current system were significantly lower, not to mention the interest free loan available for both technologies and the payback from the Renewable heat incentive and the Feed in Tariff. The customer was blown away with these figures, therefore making the decision to go ahead. The Ground Source heat pump was chosen over the Rayburn due to the extensive design process during the quotation stage. Using the latest Microgeneration Scheme (MCS) software, we were able to calculate the heat losses for each room and compare this with the current system and radiators to produce a quotation which detailed the size of the heat pump and any alterations to the current system with efficiency the priority. The Heat Pump Specified was a CTC EcoPart 414, linked with a CTC EcoZenith i550. The heat pump is a 14kW unit, providing plenty of capacity to carry out the heating and hot water for the property. The Unit is highly efficient with a COP of 4.37 at the design temperature and is A+++ rated, while the quiet scroll compressor ensures low noise production – the quietest heat pump CTC have ever produced. The CTC EcoZenith i550 is a thermal store with built-in intelligent controls. The EcoZenith i550 offers a unique and efficient solution to the customers total heating and hot water requirements. A thermal baffle segregates the upper and lower sections of the i550 allowing the upper part of the tank to be heated to a higher temperature than the lower part of the tank. With the upper tank providing the elevated temperature required for hot water production and the lower tank providing the temperatures as required for the weather compensated heating circuits. The EcoZenith i550 also has a 10kW Solar Coil and controller as standard. As the new system runs on electricity the customer was interested in Installing Solar Photovoltaics (PV) to help offset the costs. The Space available to install the solar PV was limited, we provided a cost for installing a ground mounted system or a system on two separate roof spaces but ultimately linked together. With careful consideration the customer decided to keep the panels on the roof space as to maximize the garden area in which they had recently reclaimed through the replacement of their oil and gas systems. Therefore, with the solar panels installed on the house roof and Garage roof we were able to set up a system which benefited the customers. A 14 Panel system (5 mounted on the house roof and 9 on the garage roof) consisting of 300w Jinko Panels and two trannergy inverters. With this we also installed a Solic 200 to heat the immersion in the CTC i550 when the power from the solar panels wasn’t being used. The system boasts the use of micro-inverters to overcome shading and save the system shutting down, therefore using the systems linked together to their full potential.
This Installation stands out as it is completely personalized to the customers needs. It was a large project and a drastic change from the old, outdated systems the property had previously. The installation was carried out with ease and provides the customer with the efficiency and low running costs they desired upon enquiry, Taking an old property into the 21st century of heating and home controls. The House now maintains a constant temperature and is more cost efficient to do so – compared to the previous set up. Inverter technology with weather compensated control allows the customer peace of mind, knowing that their system is running at its most efficient levels and that their heating and hot water is not compromised from this. A vast majority of installers will say that this type of installation cannot be carried out and provide the customer with the exact specifications to meet their requirements, but this is not the case. We have provided the client with a competitive price for a system which allows them to be more economically friendly, exceeds their requirements and reduces their energy bills.
Following the installation of the Ground Source heat pump, i550 and solar PV Array the customer continues to be impressed with the outcome. Following a disappointing summer with colder spells and another harsh winter with temperatures dropping to -10 degrees the system is still running perfectly. The heating has come on when needed and has kept a constant temperature throughout – being even warmer than the previous set up. The hot water has never run out and the customer has even stated they rarely have to think about the heating or hot water anymore, no need to program or time or plan at particular times of the day – the house is comfortable all year round. With the Renewable heat incentive the customer is now receiving quarterly payments for the installation of their ground source heat pump and this will last for 7 years, the accumulative payments easily cover the installation costs, not to mention the annual running costs of the Ground source heat pump are significantly lower than that of the previous system. Following the installation of the Solar PV array the customers are noticing a further savings on their electricity costs, and once again receiving payback from the feed in tariff, vastly reducing their bills. A Year on from installation we caught up with the client and were met with only good news, the system has had no flaws and is working to their exact requirements, furthermore they have reduced their energy bills by 40%.
For further enquiries about the awards, please contact:
Telephone – 0161 871 1188
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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