Airey Close, Flagship

Ground Source Review: Flagship Group, Airey Close - Exterior view of two of the homes

Ground source review: Airey Close, Flagship.

Kensa’s ground source heat pumps are saving the residents of a cul-de-sac in Suffolk up to £500 a year on their heating bills, helping to keep them out of fuel poverty.

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Ground source review: Airey Close, Flagship.

Mimicking the multi award-winning project previously adopted at a similar-sized site in Suffolk, The Flagship Group and Kensa Contracting, successfully replaced inefficient night storage heaters in twelve homes in Airey Close with ground source heat pumps. As well as lowering energy bills, the system is providing a better quality heating system and enhancing living conditions for residents, reducing damp and improving air quality.

The scheme qualifies for the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI – this scheme has closed), generating a guaranteed income for 20 years on the renewable heat produced, which allows Flagship to roll out the much-improved heating system into more homes in the future.

Charlie Conley, Head of Asset Management at Flagship said:

We are committed to continually improve our renewable energy sources to help tackle fuel poverty. After the successes of our pilot ground source heat pump scheme in Fressingfield, Suffolk, we identified this as a suitable site for our second project of this kind.

This system will create a number of benefits for Flagship and our customers as it will replace the current electric economy 7 storage heaters, which are ineffective and expensive to run.”

Hidden from view beneath the ground, twelve boreholes drilled to 200m deep form a shared ground loop array with a combined depth of over 1300 meters, connected by pipework to clusters of two properties. This underground infrastructure requires minimal maintenance and will remain in place for >100 years, continuously harnessing the freely available heat energy to keep residents warm all year round.

Each property features its own Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pump, small enough to fit inside their airing cupboard, which is wired to its own private electrical supply; this provides the residents with heating and hot water independence, and the ability to freely switch suppliers. With heat being generated at the point of use – the Shoebox heat pump upgrades low temperature heat absorbed from the ground via the boreholes – there are no heat losses through the pipework, increasing the system’s efficiency. Furthermore, as ground source heat pumps are a non-combustible technology, there are no NOx, SOx, particulates or CO² emissions.

Stuart Gadsden, Technical Sales Manager at Kensa Contracting comments:

“It is great to be working with Flagship on another project, as Kensa is committed to building long-term relationships with our customers and helping to transform the way in which we heat our houses in the UK. This system will provide low-cost heating and hot water to the residents of Airey Close for many years to come. We look forward to working with Flagship on many more projects in the years ahead.”

The site has gained international interest, attracting a visit by a delegation from Indonesia hosted by the Department for International Trade (DIT). The Indonesian delegation were interested in the possibility to reverse the heat flow in Kensa’s Shared Ground Loop Array design; the low-temperature from the ground can be used to provide free passive cooling to buildings, or for substantial cooling demands heat can be absorbed from buildings and discharged into the ground.

Paul Shand, Head of the South West, Department for International Trade, said:

I’m delighted that Kensa Heat Pumps, a home-grown Cornish company that leads the way in its field, has been chosen to present the best of British innovation to such an esteemed delegation from Indonesia.

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this exciting company as it develops its technology for the Indonesian market, where it could be used in a variety of domestic settings and commercial industries, ranging from fishing to food preparation.

Key Facts

  • 12 x retrofit properties
  • Replacing inefficient night storage heaters
  • Individual Kensa Shoebox heat pumps in each property
  • 12 x boreholes 200m deep
  • Shared ground loop array system
  • Project eligible for the Non Domestic RHI (this scheme has closed)

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