The largest ever marine source heat pump – and the first ever in the open sea – was launched today at a National Trust property in North Wales. The 300kW pump, which utilises the tidal currents of the Menai Strait, will provide all the power needed to heat the Plas Newydd mansion in Anglesey. Plas Newydd, built in the 18th Century, was formerly the National Trust’s biggest oil consumer – using up to 138,000 litres of oil annually at a cost of around £70,000.
Today (May 22nd) the Trust unveils the ground-breaking project, the first of five schemes to be completed in a £3.5m pilot phase of its Renewable Energy Investment Programme.
The Plas Newydd marine source heat pump pumps a small amount of sea water from the Menai Strait through a network of pipes to and from a heat exchanger on the shore, and then up 30 metres of cliff face to the mansion’s boiler house.
The marine source heat pump was manufactured by Stiebel Eltron UK and installed by Kimpton Energy Services, both of whom are headquartered in Bromborough, Merseyside.
Mark McManus, managing director of Stiebel Eltron UK, said: “The commissioning of the marine source heat pump is the culmination of more than three years of planning and implementation. The installation of the pump will transform energy usage at Plas Newydd, dramatically improving its CO2 performance and saving tens of thousands of pounds a year that were previously being spent on oil. It has been a hugely rewarding project for everyone concerned and the biggest project Stiebel Eltron has been involved with in the UK.”
Richard Kimpton, managing director of Kimpton Energy Services, said: “A team of more than 40 people worked on this complex and challenging project which involved us working around the tides in order to move equipment and carry out the installation. The design phase of the project was incredibly demanding and had to ensure that our calculations met the criteria of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which stipulates specific performance requirements.”
Paul Southall, an environmental advisor at the National Trust, said: “The installation of the marine source heat pump at Plas Newydd forms part of the National Trust’s Grow Your Own Energy programme which includes targets of reducing energy usage by 20 per cent and meeting half of our energy requirements through renewable energy. The vast amount of money we were spending on heating Plas Newydd with oil is money that we were not able to spend on conservation. This project has seen a number of firsts – the first marine source heat pump of its type in the UK, the biggest at 300kW and the first in open sea rather than a harbour. What has been done is genuinely cutting-edge and I have nothing but praise for Stiebel Eltron and Kimpton who were faced with the challenge of designing and installing the heat pump. Considering the scale of the project, everything has gone remarkably smoothly.”
Adam Ellis-Jones, assistant director for operations in Wales for the National Trust, said: “With the Irish Sea right on the doorstep of Plas Newydd, a marine source heat pump was the best option for us. There are very few marine source heat pumps and nothing of this size in the UK, so it has been a challenging project but a very exciting one.”
Other key partners in the project have included SEACAMS, led by the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University, and 100 per cent renewable electricity supplier Good Energy which launched the Renewable Energy Investment Programme with the National Trust last year.