Members of the Trevithick Society recently visited the historically significant Mount Wellington Mine in Chacewater near Truro.
The former Cornish tin mine is once again of economic importance to the region, as it is home to the head office and manufacturing premises for Kensa Heat Pumps – the UK’s leading expert and only British manufacturer of ground source heat pumps – a renewable technology used to provide heating and hot water to all types of properties.
The visit connected Cornwall’s legacy in the 19th-century industrial revolution with the county’s leading role in the 21st-century ambitions for a low-carbon future.
The society – whose name honours Cornwall’s greatest engineer and pioneer of steam-powered technology, Richard Trevithick – aims to encourage an interest in Cornwall’s industrial heritage and has helped to preserve many of the relics of Cornwall’s Victorian engineering achievements before they were scrapped and replaced.
Visitors enjoyed a guided tour of the Shaft Cap where they were able to see down the shaft and learn the history of Mount Wellington – the last deep tin mine ever to be built in the world. From a three-man operation started by the Wellington brothers in the 1920s, to what was the most advanced tin mine in the world in the 1970s, the site’s chequered past spans over 100 years.
They were then given a tour of Kensa’s manufacturing premises by Paul Eveleigh, Managing Director of Kensa Heat Pumps, where the low carbon heat pumps supply social housing, new build developments, private retrofit homes and businesses, are assembled and ready to be shipped nationwide. Paul said:
We were delighted to host members of the Trevithick Society for a tour of Kensa’s manufacturing facility at Mount Wellington Mine, recently. Kensa’s factory, located on the same mine site that was started in the 1920s, now manufactures record numbers of British-made ground source heat pumps that have saved over 1 million tonnes of carbon to date and created a large number of jobs for the local economy.
With plans for a two-fold increase in production in the coming years as fossil fuel heating is phased out across UK homes, we are proud to be leading a 21st-century ‘green industrial revolution’ from the heart of Cornwall.
The disused mine itself has been given a new sustainable lease of purpose – as the water flooding the shaft, which is warmed by natural processes, is being harnessed as a source of renewable energy to heat Kensa’s manufacturing facility. The heating and hot water demands are fed by two 15kW Kensa Evo heat pumps with a further 15kW Evo facilitating cooling of Kensa’s new offices.
Richard Freeborn, the owner of Mount Wellington Mine and founder of Kensa Heat Pumps confirms:
“The heat energy from the mine is 100% renewable. The ground arrays have no servicing or maintenance, and a predicated life of over 100 years. The heat pumps are running at an incredible efficiency, thanks both to the warmth of the mine, and the very high standards of insulation in Kensa’s manufacturing buildings combined with the use of underfloor heating. Historical mine networks across the country have the potential to provide low carbon heating within local communities.”