Blue Ball Lodge, Devon

Ground source review blue ball lodge ground source heat pump - Exterior 1

Ground Source Review: Blue Ball Lodge.

Mr & Mrs Vincent replaced their inefficient oil boiler system with a Kensa ground source heat pump that utilises the energy from a nearby lake to provide sustainable heating and hot water to their B&B and holiday let.

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Ground Source Review: Blue Ball Lodge

In spring 2015, Somerset-based renewables installer Total Renewable Solutions (TRS) went to see Mr & Mrs Vincent about a replacement heating system. The Vincent’s run a B&B and holiday let business in Stockland near Devon called Blue Ball Lodge. Their 300m² house has 3 main bedrooms linked to a 2 bedroom annexe and they require an ongoing supply of heating and hot water for their guests.

Their old heating system was inefficient and in need of an upgrade or replacement. The Vincent’s had two separate stand-alone oil boilers; the range boiler in the kitchen supplied domestic hot water to the house whilst giving off excess heat to the surrounding area, even during the summer months. This made it difficult for the couple to control the temperature of the house as the kitchen regularly got too hot, but also lost heat very quickly when the cooker was turned off.

The Vincent’s were initially thinking of replacing their range cooker for a newer oil-fired model, but in the consultation with TRS they were made aware that this was an inefficient and expensive way of heating the property. TRS put forward the case that renewable technology offered a more cost effective option, especially if the Vincent’s took advantage of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI: this scheme has now closed – please visit this page to explore other funding).

TRS explored the various renewable options available to Mr & Mrs Vincent as the site leant itself well to multiple technologies. However, after careful deliberation TRS advised the couple to consider ground source heat pumps which would allow them to take advantage of substantial RHI tariffs (this scheme has now closed) and guaranteed payback from the Government over 7 years.

TRS use Kensa Heat Pumps as their preferred supplier of ground source heat pump technology. They are a trusted Kensa installer partner, having proven experience of installing ground source systems with many of their staff having benefitted from attending bespoke Kensa training courses.

Whilst exploring the grounds, TRS discovered that the property had a large picturesque lake at the bottom of the garden fed by a natural spring. This made it an especially efficient water source system for a ground source heat pump, as water is an excellent conductor and has a higher heat transfer rate than the ground. Kensa’s technical team provided relevant calculations which clarified that the lake had sufficient volume and a replenishing energy source from the spring to manage the property’s heat load.

In May 2015, Kensa constructed five ‘pond mats’ consisting of 250m of slinky pipes attached to corrosion resistant stainless steel frames. Two members of the Kensa technical support team met TRS on site to help sink the ‘pond mats’ to the bottom of the Vincent’s lake where they are invisible to the naked eye. This method removed the need for large amounts of drilling or digging, thereby reducing the cost and duration of the installation.

The ‘pond mats’ are connected to 85m of pipe running under the Vincent’s nearby paddock to the heat pump unit which is housed along with two cylinders and the buffer tank in an enclosed cupboard in the lobby area joining the main house with the annexe.

Kensa supplied a 21Kw Twin Hybrid heat pump which provides space heating and hot water to the entire property, replacing the separate heating systems for the main house and annexe. Mr & Mrs Vincent are thrilled with the system which has been up and running since June 2015. They have a much greater level of control over the output temperature and are pleased with how quickly the house warms up and retains heat. TRS specified the new system to ensure it was fully eligible for the RHI scheme (this scheme has now closed) and also oversaw the application process for the Vincent’s.

Fred Thomson, Sales Manager at Total Renewable Solutions said: “My clients initially seemed a bit sceptical about whether a ground source heat pump would work for them, but once they realised they could harness free energy from the lake to heat their property they were both excited and delighted!

They rely on a steady supply of heating and hot water for their B&B business and have been very pleased with the efficiency of the ground source heat pump system so far. In fact they have been using it as a selling point to market their business as a ‘green’ place to stay.

He continues:

We work closely with Kensa as our chosen supplier of ground source heat pump systems as they provide dedicated specialist technical support and are a British manufacturer. We were confident that ground source was the right technology for the Vincent’s over other renewable options after factoring in their needs, resources, budget and expected payback.

Key Facts

  • 300m² property with 3 bed house and 2 bed annexe
  • 21kW Kensa Hybrid Twin Heat Pump
  • Replacing an oil boiler system
  • x5 pond mats with 250m slinky coil sunk into nearby lake
  • 85m of pipe under paddock connecting lake to house
  • Kensa Partner Installer: Total Renewable Solutions