Sourcing low-carbon-footprint energy for a home in Cheshire, UK
When planning to build a new 850-m2 property in Cheshire, the owner wanted to ensure that the property had low energy costs and as low a carbon footprint as possible: a wise decision, as homes of this size usually incur sizable energy bills and have large carbon impacts on the environment. Ground Heat, an RSK company, was appointed to advise the owner on renewable heating options and how ground-source heating could be incorporated into the construction.
The new build was to be built over three storeys: an underground car park, a ground floor and a first floor, with a heated pool on the top level.
Ground Heat met with the client and visited the development site to develop the best solution for the project. As a result, the use of ground-source heat pumps was recommended to provide heating for the home and the pool and domestic hot water. Solar photovoltaic panels would help to reduce the demand for electricity from the national grid. Batteries for electricity storage were also recommended, as their falling price meant they were becoming affordable and they would enable the client to take advantage of flexible electricity tariffs and off-peak electricity rates.
We went above and beyond by also recommending the installation of an under-ground heating system beneath the steep driveway leading to the underground parking area. This would avoid the need to grit the driveway in winter, something the client had not foreseen.
Once the work was agreed and approved by the client, we installed the heating system, the batteries and the solar panels: two Heliothermic ground-source heat pumps supplied by seven boreholes drilled in the driveway; a buffer cylinder; a 40-kW solar photovoltaic array; and six batteries. The heat pump takes power from whichever source is most economic: the grid, the solar panels or the battery, technology now available to all Ground Heat clients. Underfloor heating with intelligent control, which manages the heating system to take advantage of low-price periods, was also fitted throughout the property. Except for the solar array, all the plant was installed in the underground car park.
The final installation not only delivers energy savings for the client, it also reduces the home’s carbon footprint more than anticipated: sometimes the energy is zero carbon.