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No reservations about renewable solutions

Solar panels and a ground source heat pump from Vaillant have been installed in one of the UK’s most innovative heating projects at the luxurious Lake House boutique hotel, near Windermere, recently featured on ITV’s The Lakes. Drawing heat from the natural Knipe Tarn, a 10kW Vaillant geoTHERM heat pump is believed to be the first to be installed in the UK without first draining the lake. It now provides underfloor heating for the hotel, while five Vaillant auroTHERM exclusive vacuum tube solar panels preheat water which is fed into a bespoke tank-in-tank domestic hot water system, reducing energy bills further. Using Knipe Tarn to provide a heat source

was the brainchild of architect Ben Cunliffe, whose family owns and runs The Lake House, but it was left to Mick Lloyd, Director of Lancaster-based installer Wheildons, and renewables experts from manufacturer Vaillant to design a heating system and devise a scheme for the installation.

Problem solving

Mick Lloyd, Director of Wheildons, said: “We worked very closely with Vaillant throughout this project as it presented some interesting challenges. Combining our knowledge we came up with some very satisfactory solutions. Lakes are a good source of energy for heat pumps, in my opinion better than a horizontal layout and almost as good as a borehole. Knipe Tarn is around 5m deep, which is a good depth for a lake heat pump application.

The installation has

successfully provided heat during its first winter and has provided the cosy environment needed for the guests of this luxury hotel.” Normally when heat pumps are installed

in lakes, the lake is either purpose built for the installation or drained to allow the heat pump collectors to be secured to the bottom of the lake, then filled; however, at Knipe it wasn’t possible to drain the lake. The Lake House uses water from Knipe

Tarn for bathing and drinking water, first cleaning and processing it through a

filtration plant. This meant that installation of the collectors had to be achieved without churning up the water or disturbing the lake bed. Using divers was not an option either due to the risks of contamination and churn. Vaillant’s Mark Barson and Wheildons’s Mick Lloyd worked together to find a solution. They devised a galvanised steel framework in four parts; 200m of collector was coiled and fastened onto each, then the framework was floated out to the chosen location in the lake, with weights tied to each section to make it sink. The floatation devices were then cut loose to allow the framework with the collection coils to settle onto the bottom of the lake in the desired location.

Underfloor luxury

Two lengths of 50m were left free on two of the collector frames to bring ashore to connect with a 4 part manifold which was installed underground on the lake shore, accessed via a manhole. Two larger pipes then lead from the manifold up to the house, buried in a specially constructed trench under the front lawn, and are connected to the Vaillant 10kW geoTHERM heat pump, which is installed in the underground storage room and laundry beneath the main house. This system gives a COP of approximately 4:1 and provides underfloor heating for all the hotel’s luxury suites and common areas. Domestic hot water for the Lake House is

provided by a bespoke tank-in-tank installation designed by Wheildons for the purpose. This also heats a small network of towel rails in all the en suites. The cold water that feeds into this is pre-heated first by a Vaillant solar system.

Five Vaillant

auroTHERM exclusive vacuum tube solar panels, installed on the roof by Wheildons, preheat water and feed it into a 350L store. The incoming water to the tank-in-tank system can often be as hot as 40°C, making a significant contribution towards reducing running costs.

A zero carbon partnership is ‘Bourne’

National building services provider EIC has completed the mechanical and electrical fit out for Tesco’s second Zero Carbon store in the UK. The store in Bourne, Lincolnshire has been built by McLaren Construction with the mechanical and electrical systems designed and installed by EIC. EIC was appointed to undertake the three-month contract by McLaren Construction. The project involved the installation of a number of energy saving techniques including chilled and combined heat and power systems which more than double the efficiency of the store’s fuel use, a free cooling air scoop system which naturally ventilates the building, and lighting control systems.

Energy monitoring

The fabric of the store is timber-framed and uses skylights and sun pipes to illuminate the shopping area, thereby cutting lighting costs. The building also has a combined heat and power plant powered by renewable bio-fuels and a metering system so that energy use is constantly monitored. In addition, the store has no harmful refrigerants in the fridges, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Ian Lyall, joint Managing Director of EIC,

said: “The Tesco Zero Carbon store in Bourne will play a powerful role in not only tackling climate change itself but also, perhaps more importantly, in encouraging others to do so too, so we were delighted to be a part of its design and build. “With almost 40 years’ experience in this

sector, we have seen enormous improvements in energy saving techniques and devices. We have worked with some of the country’s most forward-thinking

companies, and particularly a number of new build school projects, all of which have really led the way in carbon reduction. This has added significant expertise to our strong track record of designing, integrating and installing cost effective, environmentally friendly and energy saving solutions. We also believe that sustainable innovations are not just limited to new build, and encourage our customers with existing properties or refurbishments to address energy performance and carbon reduction wherever possible.”

Zero carbon

The first Tesco Zero Carbon store was opened in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire and following on from the Tesco Zero Carbon store in Bourne, another has been opened in Welshpool, Powys. Tesco has also exported the model overseas, with a Zero Carbon hypermarket in the Czech Republic and, plans for a Zero Carbon supermarket in Bang Phra, Thailand later this year. Louise Gosling, Corporate Affairs Manager at Tesco, said: “We have set ambitious targets to reduce carbon, generate efficiencies and reinvest in green growth, which are part of our long-term goal to be a zero-carbon business by 2050. “We appointed EIC to undertake the mechanical and electrical work as we felt that they not only had the relevant experience in the sector but are also keen to address energy performance and carbon reduction themselves, both internally and with their customers.”

Dalkia delivers energy efficiency A PV first for BBC Wales

European PV industry leaders Krannich Solar and renewable energy specialists Ecofirst have completed a 50kWp PV system installation at the new BBC Wales studios. Located in Roath Basin, the new studios and roof are an integral part of the

redevelopment and regeneration of the Cardiff Docks area and will be the new location for the filming of popular BBC television dramas including Casualty and Dr Who. Commissioned by nPower Energy Services, Ecofirst worked in partnership with

Krannich Solar to install a 50kWp system comprising of 204 SunTech 245 panels and three SMA Tripower 15000 inverters within a two week period.


Commenting on the completion of the project, Aidan Morris Managing Director of Ecofirst said: “The new studios have sustainability at their core. From the initial design concepts through to final installation timing was critical as filming is due to start at the new studios at the beginning of September. We have worked with Krannich Solar on a number of projects and knew they had the capability to deliver on both product and price.” Juan Romera-Wade, Chief Executive Officer of Krannich Solar UK, added:

“Contractors and architects are increasingly receiving briefs for projects that demand a high environmental standard and the installation of PV systems are essential to achieving this. With a wide network of engineers and sales advisors available we have the infrastructure and capability to deliver this and are delighted to be part of such an important project in an area of Cardiff that is now in the process of huge regeneration.”


Dalkia has recently extended its contract with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust for a further three years following a successful ten years of service. Dalkia looks after the operation and maintenance of the Selly Oak Hospital’s steam boiler plant. Under the new contract Dalkia will undertake the design and installation of new gas fired plant that will introduce further energy efficiencies for the hospital.

Along with providing the very best healthcare, hospitals also need to successfully maintain complex infrastructures in order to provide a comfortable healing environment for patients. In addition, new environmental targets and energy legislation such as the latest pressures from the Carbon Reduction Commitment mean that further resources and often, capital investment are vital to ensure healthcare facilities can benefit from the most modern energy efficient technologies. UHB runs three hospitals on two sites: the

new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), Selly Oak Hospital and the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital and holds the contract for treating injured military personnel evacuated from overseas to the QEHB. The Trust needed to invest in replacement boiler plant that would match the site’s new steam load and reap longer- term savings, by upgrading its hot water and heating plant to improve environmental

performance in line with a significant reduction of the heating load.

Ongoing maintenance

Dalkia will not only decommission the existing hot water and heating plant but also design and install gas-fired boilers, in addition to providing ongoing operation and maintenance of the plant. The gas-fired boiler plant, in addition to the plant’s pipework will be designed and constructed by Dalkia. Chris Sears of Dalkia commented: “Those responsible for ensuring the operation and efficiency of healthcare facilities are being increasingly driven by a need to reduce energy use. Legislation, carbon reduction targets and the rising cost of energy all play their part. Finding methods for delivering energy savings is crucial and Dalkia is an energy partner experienced in the healthcare environment, with a keen understanding of the pressures this sector faces.”


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