Incognito Heat Co were delighted to have been entrusted with developing a comprehensive Ground Source Heat Pump and Underfloor Heating strategy on this exciting project in Penrith.
To design a sustainable, energy efficient heating and hot water system that would keep our client and their young family in comfortable warmth through all seasons, and with copious amounts of hot water to cope with the very busiest bath and shower room rush hours.
Situated in the small hamlet of Melmerby, nestled next to the hills in the Eden Valley, on the outskirts of Penrith, this peaceful, quintessentially English countryside, forms the beautiful backdrop for this similarly impressive state of art new home.
A well-appointed, contemporary executive detached home. In addition to large luxury open plan living areas on the ground floor, this house comes complete with 4 bedrooms and five bathrooms on the first floor.
It also has a large triple garage which houses our Nibe F1155 Ground Source Heat Pumps, hot water cylinder and heating buffer vessel.
The Ground Source Heat Pump and Underfloor Heating system in Penrith
As mentioned above, at the heart of this heating system is two Nibe F1155 inverter driven Ground Source Heat Pumps.
So why two heat pumps?
The larger output Ground Source Heat Pumps are designed to run off a 3-phase electricity supply Unfortunately a 3-phase electricity supply was not available on this site.
The largest single-phase Nibe Ground Source Heat Pump currently available is 12kw, which was short of what this property would need to provide comfort conditions in the depths of the winter.
However, there was a perfect solution.
Insread of 1 heatpump, we installed 2 single phase Nibe F1155 units in cascade mode. The principal 12kw unit works as the master and the smaller 6kw unit works in slave mode. In this configuration, they work together intelligently, ensuring that exactly the right amount of energy is produced to provide warm comfortable conditions, and plenty of hot water in even the most extreme weather conditions.
The External Ground Loops
The energy to run this Ground Source Heat Pump System is extracted from the ground.
At the rear of the property there is over 1,000 metres of 40mm ground loop heat collector pipework buried 1 metre below the surface, which is connected to the Ground Source Heat Pumps in the plant area.
This pipework is filled with a glycol heat transfer fluid which is diluted with water on site to the correct concentration level, ensuring that its antifreeze properties are not compromised.
Whilst the Ground Source Heat Pump is in operational mode, and calling for heat, this fluid is circulated throughout the array of ground loops and delivered to the heat pumps in the plant room.
As this fluid is circulated, it collects low grade heat from the ground, which is delivered into the Heat Pumps Compressors, where they work their magic and turn this low-grade heat into high grade heat, sufficient to provide heating and hot water for the entire house.
Once this energy has been extracted, the then cooler glycol fluid is recirculated back through the ground loops where it is recharged with low grade heat. This process repeats until the system is fully satisfied.
In addition to the super-efficient state of the art Renewable Energy Heating system described above, this client will benefit from:
Incognito Heat Co are fully MCS accredited;
We are also Nibe accredited VIP installers;
Seven years of government RHI funding (Renewable Heat Incentive);
Seven years Nibe manufactures warrantee.
The Underfloor Heating System
We designed and fitted a fully heat pump compatible Underfloor Heating System to all areas of both ground and first floors.
The system we used was our Ambiente AmbiTak tacker system.
This is a system where the underfloor heating pipes are run at 150mm centres and attached directly to the flooring insulation using barbed clips to hold pipework in place. This pipework is laid in loops and run back to a central manifold location. These manifolds are in turn connected back to the Ground Source Heat Pumps buffer vessel in the plant room via flow and return pipework.
Once this is completed, the system is fully tested, and left under pressure.
The pipework is now be fully encased in a 55mm liquid floor screed, which provides the finished flat floor ready for the final floor coverings. This screed also provides thermal mass, which absorbs the heat from the Underfloor Heating System, which in turn transfers heat into the room.
Underfloor Heating Controls
Each room has its own electronic programmable thermostat, connected to the network which enables all areas to be precisely controlled for time and temperature. The networkable facility enables the entire system to be remotely monitored and adjusted via your smart phone or tablet wherever you are in the world.
Well just a bit.
In addition to the main house, the underfloor heating system also extends into the properties integral triple garage.
Our client is an enthusiastic motor sports fan and works professionally in the Formula One industry, motor mechanics, bikes and engines are very important to him.
So he will tend to spend a lot of his spare time working in this garage, which will double up as his workshop and why it is extremely important to him that this area is as warm and comfortable just as the rest of his living space within the main house.
So, the humble garage, which we normally associate as being a drafty cold area where we park our cars, and store our gardening equipment, is in this case a “not so humble garage” fully benefiting from the same levels of warmth and comfort as the main house.
As this will be effectively be an engineering environment with all additional weight and point loading that this activity will bring, the floor construction here is slightly different, with concrete being placed directly over the reinforced steel mesh to create a structural floor of sufficient strength.
It stands to reason, that our underfloor heating system we used here is slightly different as well.
The AmbiStructural system, this is essentially the same as used in main house, except the pipework is attached to the reinforced metal mesh, rather than directly to the flooring insulation.
Text: Andrew Skirton
Photography: Architectural photographer Edinburgh