A quiet cul-de-sac in Suffolk has been chosen to represent British renewable energy innovations to a delegation from Indonesia hosted by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

At first glance the mixed site of nineties construction semi-detached houses and bungalows at Airey Close in Sudbury Suffolk, is nothing out of the ordinary. However hidden from view and beneath the ground is a sophisticated energy grid, harnessing free renewable heat to provide low-carbon, low-cost heat to the residents above, for the next 100 years.

Mimicking their multi award-winning design previously adopted at a similar-sized site in Suffolk, at the start of September property owners, Flagship Group, alongside UK specialists, Kensa Contracting, commenced a programme of works to replace the twelve properties’ old night storage heaters with a renewable heating alternative to lower tenants’ fuel bills and cut carbon emissions and local air pollution.

Each of the properties feature their 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. Each British-manufactured unit from Kensa Heat Pumps is connected to a ‘Shared Ground Loop Array’; an elegant system connecting clusters of two properties at a time together by pipework running to depths of 200m in boreholes.

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.

The attraction to the Indonesian delegation of the ground source heat pump system with Flagship is 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.

Like the UK, there is a significant low carbon programme in Indonesia, some of which is funded by the UK Government, and there is huge scope for the development of new technologies.

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.

With drilling of the boreholes due to finish at Airey Close by the end of September, come the end of October it is anticipated all of the 12 properties will have their new renewable heating system fully installed and operational.

Whilst not applicable in Indonesia, an added benefit to Flagship for utilising Kensa’s Shared Ground Loop Array ‘district heating’ design is the eligibility for 20 years of guaranteed quarterly payments from the Government’s Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Compliance Manager at Flagship Matt Smith said:

It is very exciting that our work to improve the service we offer our customers is gaining international recognition.

After the success of our first project in Fressingfield, Suffolk, we were keen to find other suitable sites to implement something similar. Once this new heating system is fully operational, we look forward to seeing the benefits to our customers living in our homes as well as our business over the coming months.

Stuart Gadsden, Technical Sales Manager at Kensa Contracting comments:

The opportunity to showcase this project to both the UK and Indonesian Governments is exciting and shows the growing level of interest in shared ground loop GSHP systems. By working together, we can make a positive impact on peoples’ lives while contributing to carbon reduction targets.

It is great to be working with Flagship on another project as developing long-term relationships with our housing association partners is vital to Kensa’s success. It is also testament to the quality installations that we deliver that meet the expectations of our clients and their residents. I have no doubt that this project will significantly reduce the energy bills of the residents while at the same time improving their comfort.

Flagship Group, Airey Close

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