Viewing entries tagged
renewable energy

Water source heat pump in Perthshire

Water source heat pump in Perthshire

Heat Pumps are becoming increasingly accepted as a means of heating homes without relying on burning fossil fuels. For anyone who hasn’t had first hand experience of a water source heat pump or any other heat pump, the concept is simple. In the case of ground source, collector loops circulate a glycol/water mix (brine). Energy is absorbed by the brine, typically around 5˚C, and delivered to the heat pump inside the building. Once the energy has been extracted by the heat pump the brine is returned at around 0˚C to start the process all over again.

Where sufficient land is available to install ground loops, the ground array will consist of a number of circuits connected to a manifold. A pair of header pipes link the manifold to the heat pump within the building.

The collector pipes are buried at a depth of at least one metre, where the soil temperature remains stable across the seasons. All energy we extract is ultimately derived from the Sun, and this extracted energy is replaced as rainwater percolates through the soil. The design of the ground loop system considers the amount of energy required by the property, and the ground conditions together with local ambient temperatures.

Water source heat pump in Perthshire Scotland

In addition to burying pipework in earth, collector pipes may also be installed into a loch, or lake. The customary method of installation is a closed loop system. As the name suggests, the brine circulates through a sealed system and there is no interchange between the loch water and the brine circuit. Energy extracted by the water source heat pump is replaced by water flowing into the loch, and solar energy falling on the surface of the loch.

In the winter, temperatures in a lake get close enough to freezing that the colder water is less dense and floats to the top. The water temperature a the bottom of the loch, where he collector pipes are remains pretty much constant at a temperature of approximately 4˚C.

Old England Loch in Perthshire

The installation of water source heat pump collector pipes

A recent project took us to a new build house in Perthshire, Scotland, being constructed within a few hundred metres of a small loch. The available land was considered, and the local loch was presented as a possible heat source. Water is an excellent medium for collecting energy from, and this arrangement made it possible to install the complete collector array with minimum disturbance. Ground loops now more accurately described as loch loops are arranged on land where weights are attached. The loops now take on the appearance of a rope ladder, the rungs adding ballast and serving to keep the pipes apart.

Don kept himself warm!

During installation, our team typically takes a rowing boat out to carry a light rope across the loch, where others of the team wait on the opposite side to reel it in and tow the loch loops out into deep water. Before the pipes are filled, there is enough positive buoyancy to cause the loops to float. Having pulled the loop into the loch to its full extent the loop can be maneuvered into position and the ends of the loops are fusion welded to the manifold on the banks of the loch.

Pumping the glycol-water mix into the pipes has the effect of overcoming the natural buoyancy of the pipe, and the loops sink to the bottom of the loch. Once landscaping is completed and land reinstatement has taken place only the lid of the manifold chamber on the bank reveals the existence of the collector system.

Water source heat pump Scotland

The design of a ground heat exchanger is a complex engineering procedure. Typically, a conservative approach is adopted and early dialogue with us is important to confirm the suitability of a particular tract of land or water source as an energy source before work starts.

For those without packages of land attached to their houses, or access to a loch, do not despair. See our pages on air source heat pumps.

For another project in Perthshire: Underfloor Heating Perth.

Drone images and video: MadeByDrones.

Other images by: STUDIOVHF.

Heat pump and underfloor heating Aberdeen - Dundee

Heat pump and underfloor heating Aberdeen - Dundee

Incognito Heat Co were consulted at the initial pre-design stage of this proposed development, a stunning family home, with heat pump and underfloor heating, in an equally stunning location on the north east coast of Scotland, between Aberdeen and Dundee which enjoys panoramic views across the North Sea for this young family.

Working closely with the architects, Cowie Chartered Architects Ltd, and main contractor, Fotheringham Property Developments Limited, Incognito Heat Co were appointed to plan an efficient underfloor heating and a domestic hot water strategy. We were delighted to take up the challenge.

Why Underfloor Heating in Aberdeen and Dundee?

The first thing people think about when they hear about underfloor heating is mess. Everyone thinks installing underfloor heating in Aberdeen or Dundee is going to cause a huge mess in their home or commercial building. And, of course, that it’s going to be an expensive mess.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you work with the right installer, underfloor heating takes very little time, makes very little mess and, more importantly, it costs very little in the long run.

In fact, whether you change your existing flooring is up to you. If you’re in the middle of a refurbishment, then you probably already had it in the books. If you love your current flooring, installing pipes underneath it is perfectly doable – without harming it.

But that’s not all that underfloor heating brings to the table. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages

Benefits of underfloor heating

  • Improved thermal comfort: underfloor heating radiates heat from the floor to the roof. Unlike conventional heaters, it allows for a pleasant environment at a lower temperature.

  • Cost savings: underfloor heating is more efficient than conventional methods. The water in a radiator needs to be heated at 65-67 degrees Celsius. For underfloor heating, 27 to 29 degrees are enough. Plus, it doesn’t depend on oil prices rising due to political or economic instability.

  • Green energy: the water used in the pipes can be heated by heat pumps and pumped round with electricity obtained through solar panels or wind turbines. You can have your entire home running on renewable energy, thus helping the environment and your wallet.

  • Extra space and better design: tired of searching for clever ways to mask ugly radiators? Underfloor heating isn’t too pretty, either, but it’s completely out of sight. You can use the space where radiators used to be for a stylish decoration that gives every room a unique personality.

  • Better air quality: radiators circulate the same stale warm air through the room. Underfloor heating allows for fresh air circulation without harming the energy efficiency of the system.

  • Faster heating: the right underfloor system can heat your room in 20 minutes or less. That significantly faster than conventional radiators that need to heat the air around them first.

  • No energy loss: when you have a radiator in your home, you already know what opening the window above it does to your energy efficiency. You’re basically throwing money off that window. As the name says, underfloor heating heats the floor, which means that, even if you open the window, the energy loss is minimal.

  • Child friendly: Forget about baby-proofing metallic edges. Underfloor heating is safely tucked away. Plus, even the youngest members of your family can walk barefooted on a warm floor.

  • No maintenance: if your system is installed correctly, it will last for a lifetime without any maintenance work. Now this truly is long-term cost saving!

Want to reap some of these amazing benefits for yourself? Take a look at the process we implemented for our clients below:

Ground source heat pump and underfloor heating Aberdeen - Dundee

At the heart of our proposed system was a 3 phase 16kW Thermia Diplomat Duo Optimum ground source heat pump, with a 200 litre buffer vessel to serve the house's space underfloor heating, and 300 litre domestic hot cylinder to provide the house's domestic hot water requirements.

The field on the east coast between Aberdeen and Dundee, where the looped collector pipes for the ground source heat pump were laid.

(Drone image by Michael Fotheringham, other images by Vincent Hartman.)

The renewable energy for this heat pump between Aberdeen and Dundee is drawn from the ground via an array of ground collector pipes. In excess of 1000 metres of this pipe is buried horizontally one metre below the surface of the garden grounds of this property, and is connected to the heat pump which is located in the plant room of the house adjacent to the garage. 

Renewable energy with Underfloor Heating Aberdeen - Dundee

This pipe is then filled with a specialist glycol heat transfer fluid which is circulated constantly through the pipework whist the system operating, drawing low grade heat from the ground, and delivering it to the heat pump. This is where the heat pump works its magic, using its reverse refrigeration technology, turning this low grade heat into high grade heat, sufficient to providing stable warm comfort throughout the entire property during the coldest winter condition’s, and all the properties domestic hot water requirements.  

Inside the house, on the ground floor our Ambiente underfloor heating Aberdeen system, with its pipework buried in the floor screed, ensures that an efficient comfortable controllable atmosphere is constantly maintained. On the first floor, heat pump compatible radiators have been fitted.

Incognito Heat Pumps and Underfloor Heating Aberdeen worked closely with Fotheringham Property Development (from Gourdon, also between Aberdeen and Dundee) and the owners, as the house was being constructed from early springtime 2016, through to its successful completion and hand over just before Christmas 2016.

The results, we are pleased to report that the system came through the harsh #BeastFromTheEast winter of 2017/2018 without missing a beat, keeping the family warm and in hot water (in the nicest way).

Incognito team members turning up for work on the first of March 2018 (but didn’t get anywhere else after that).

Building your own dream home, have a similar requirement for a state of art modern super-efficient heat pump and underfloor heating system in the Aberdeen and Dundee area? 

Please contact us for an initial consultation, we look forward to hearing from you!

NIBE VIP installer

NIBE VIP installer

Incognito is now an accredited NIBE VIP installer. NIBE is a leading Energy Systems manufacturer in the renewable heating sector. Incognito offers renewable heating solutions in the form of ground-, water- and air source heat pumps.

NIBE VIP installers: 

  • Have completed NIBE product training

  • Offer an extended warranty

  • Have experience fitting NIBE technology

  • Are MCS registered (essential requirement for RHI payments)

  • Are signed up to NIBE’s strict code of professional standards

NIBE VIP Installer Code of Professional Standards

  1. The NIBE VIP Installer will be the point of contact with the customer

  2. Perform professionally, competently and responsibly

  3. Comply with all relevant UK regulations, standards and codes of practice

  4. Install and commission all NIBE equipment in accordance with all NIBE’s installation manuals and procedures

  5. Complete Benchmark check list for NIBE heat pumps

  6. The operation of the heat pump and system controls are fully demonstrated to the customer

  7. Register NIBE heat pump installation on NIBE website

  8. Reply to customer enquiries in relation to NIBE products in a quick and proficient manner

  9. Keep up to date with developments in the NIBE product range and UK plumbing and heating industry

  10. Design systems to meet a minimum SPF of 3.1 for GSHP and 2.7 for ASHP

For more information click on the NIBE logo below:

Energy efficient home in East Lothian

Energy efficient home in East Lothian

When Mr & Mrs Robertson purchased the plot for their energy efficient home home in East Lothian, it wasn’t in their mind to buy the house next door as well! However as it solved many difficulties the neighbouring property was duly acquired and the project got underway. Living next door to the site did at least mean that the build progress could be monitored on a daily basis, as well as overseeing the general security of the site.

The Incognito Heat Co Installation team installing underfloor heating at this energy efficient home home in East Lothian

Energy efficient home in East Lothian

From initial sketches by Edinburgh based Camerons Architects grew the designs for a modern, super insulated, energy efficient home. Incognito Heat Co. was involved in the initial discussions with the architects to provide the heating and hot water solution. With involvement at such an early stage we were able to ensure that build methods favoured the installation of an air source heat pump.

Upper floor underfloor heating

Underfloor heating was the favoured method of heating for this East Lothian energy efficient home, for both the client and the architect. Conventionally underfloor heating is installed on ground floors; whilst wall mounted radiators are used upstairs only due to the perceived difficulties of UFH installation within a timber floor. We were keen to use underfloor heating on both floors as it can improve the efficiency of the heat pump. It was decided that the mid floor construction would be engineered for the weight of a screed allowing us to incorporate pipework easily and safely onto a timber deck.

Manufactured joists were used throughout the mid floor construction. These are lightweight alternatives to traditional solid timber joists. They save weight and natural resources whilst giving great flexibility for other trades to pass services, ducts and cables through their open web structure. The upper and lower flanges must not be cut to preserve the structural integrity of the joist, which prevents the installation of underfloor heating within the profile of the floor- in the event this isn’t such an issue as the floor is normally sheeted immediately. This stiffens the entire structure by tying each joist to another, and provides a safe working platform for all other trades.

There are compelling environmental reasons for using screed on upper floors, as well as improving the fire resistance and durability of the floor. A major component of the screed is an inert by-product of an industrial process, thus increasing the recycled content of the property. Using locally sourced aggregates and UK produced binders, (there is no cement used) there is low embodied energy in the product.

By embedding the UFH pipes in a screed it is possible to operate the heating at a lower temperature. This is most significant for the operating efficiencies of the heat pump, as less energy has to be expended to maintain comfortable temperatures within this energy efficient East Lothian home. Since the introduction of the Energy-related Products Directive, every heat pump manufacturer must provide data on the energy performance of their equipment at various temperature outputs. It is now very easy to see the impact that build method, heat emitter selection and floor coverings can have on ongoing efficiencies and therefore running costs.

Technical installation

Moving outside, the chosen air source heat pump was a 12kw unit from NIBE. This is an excellent example of Scandinavian engineering, NIBE are a company with a long proven track record in manufacturing quality renewable products. The installation was carried out under the NIBE VIP Installer scheme, the client benefitting from a seven year warranty.

NIBE heat pump

Inside the quality continues, with a 300 litre domestic hot water cylinder installed to provide plentiful hot water to the property's bathroom and three Ensuites. Early in the design process we discussed the clients’ requirements for hot water to ensure the demands of the household would be met at peak times. For properties where particularly heavy usage is envisaged we will provide larger volumes of hot water storage to suit, together with an indication of the additional energy that will be required to heat this.

A third party MVHR system (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) was installed. This extracts warm, stale air from wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and Ensuites. The air passes through an MVHR unit to extract the energy, the stale air is vented outside whilst the captured energy is transferred to incoming fresh air and ducted to living areas. A big benefit of this is a reduction in energy lost via air changes, further increasing the efficiencies of the heating system. Additionally, a 4Kw solar panel system was installed to further the energy efficiency of this East Lothian Home.

The build project was carried out by Lawrie Construction. Incognito Heat Co. worked closely with Lawrie Construction to coordinate fitting the underfloor heating and screed, the air source heat pump and DHW cylinders were fitted in compliance with current MCS standards.

Branding refresh

Branding refresh

"If it's good don't touch it!" is the general saying, just like something along the lines of: "Never change a winning team!" and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!". All very true, but hanging on to something too long may restrict progress and after all, here at Incognito Underfloor Heating, it is all about progress and change, otherwise we would be a coal-merchant or selling stoves!

The 'old' logo and the 'new' logo

The 'old' logo and the 'new' logo

Renewable energy sources in combination with underfloor heating was the future 10 years ago and still is today. In spite of the growth that Incognito has seen over the years, there is still a long way to go to before we all benefit from green energy and the comfort of underfloor heating. So we are not quite done yet!

It was therefore only appropriate to change our corporate image in accordance with what they call in marketing terms: 'within the just noticeable difference'. Hence the need to write about it in this little news blog, just in case you might have missed it...?