Case study: Caerphilly Castle Visitor Centre

Caerphilly Castle is one of the great medieval castles of western Europe, and now features a great ground source heat pump which sources heat from the castles moat!

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Caerphilly Castle is one of the great medieval castles of western Europe. It is the largest castle in Wales, the second largest in Britain (second to Windsor Castle) and is one of the largest fortresses in Europe.

It was built mainly between 1268 and 1271 however its modern visitor centre built in 2002 uses modern technology to meet its high environmental credentials.

This visitor reception building at Caerphilly Castle is heated using a heat pump and renewable energy from the castle’s surrounding moat. The adjacent moat not only acts as a heat source during winter, but also disperses unwanted heat from the building in the summer when the heat pump is configured for cooling. In heating, a water pump moves moat water into the Kensa Compact heat pump where it’s useful heat energy is extracted. The colder water is discharged back into the moat. The cycle is reversed for cooling.

The model of Compact heat pump used, features Kensa’s “co-axial” heat exchangers. There is also an additional ‘standby’ water pump as part of the installation. These heat exchangers are made from materials similar to those commonly used for domestic drinking water and are a highly efficient method of heat transfer.

Kensa’s Compact heat pump is connected to an underfloor heating system to heat the building, and a water based fan coil system will be used to provide cooling during the warmer summer months.

Key Facts

  • Extension
  • Historic building
  • Kensa Single Compact ground source heat pump
  • 100% space heating and cooling
  • Open loop system utilising water from the moat
  • Displacing oil