Case study: The Dry, Mount Wellington Mine

A recently refurbished suite of offices in a renewable energy business park, based on the site of a former modern Cornish tin mine, are benefiting from low cost and sustainable heating thanks to a ground source heat pump manufactured by Kensa Heat Pumps.

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Mount Wellington Mine in 1975 WMNHome to Kensa Heat Pumps since their relocation in 2007, Mount Wellington Mine in Truro, Cornwall, is undergoing an extensive ongoing regeneration programme to bring a new renewable lease of life to the historic site.

The latest project in Mount Wellington Mine’s redevelopment is the refurbishment of a 1970’s building known as ‘The Dry’, which was recently completed with the installation of a Kensa ground source heat pump.

TheDRY - peter hughesThe old ‘Dry’ was originally where mine workers showered and changed before and after shifts. Cornish mines were traditionally powered by steam engines and the name ‘The Dry’ allegedly refers to the hot steam pipes that provided a place where miners could dry out the clothes that they wore whilst underground.

A new ‘Dry’ was built in the mid-1970s and the original turned entirely into offices. Recently refurbished to a high standard by owner Richard Freeborn, this building is split into three separate office premises, with shared lobby, kitchen, halls and stairwell areas. The building has solar PV installed on the roof generating a renewable electricity supply and high quality insulation has been fitted throughout.

Richard was looking for a low cost and sustainable heating system that would keep his tenants warm and complement the ethos of the renewable energy businesses currently operating from the site. Being co-founder and majority shareholder in Kensa Heat Pumps, Richard has an intimate knowledge of ground source heat pumps, so knew that the technology would provide the perfect solution for his tenants.

A Kensa 24kW Single Phase Twin ground source heat pump capable of producing temperatures of up to 55°C provides space heating to the office block which is heated by radiators throughout. Heat energy is harnessed from the ground by six 50m slinky coils buried under spare land nearby. Being familiar with the technology, Richard was able to dig the trenches and install the heat pump himself.

As the property is used for commercial purposes, the installation is eligible for the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), entitling Richard to 20 years’ worth of quarterly payments from the Government.

As a result of the installation, 100% of the property’s energy needs are now supplied by renewable technology. All three separate offices are currently connected to the ground source heat pump.

Richard said:

A ground source heat pump was the only viable choice for The Dry, because we have a lot of renewable and sustainable energy businesses on site and they expect the lowest possible carbon emission from their heating systems.

He continued:

Plus we had Kensa on site who were able to supply us with a ground source heat pump manufactured right here at Mount Wellington Mine. Along with the solar PV we already have, the ground source heat pump is delivering cheaper and sustainable heating for our tenants, which is a great USP for our renewable energy park.”

Key Facts

  • Former modern Cornish tin mine converted into a renewable energy business park
  • When completed The Dry will feature six separate commercial offices
  • Some shared lobby, kitchen, hall and stair spaces
  • 24kW Kensa Single Phase Twin Compressor
  • x6 50m slinkies under adjacent land
  • Solar PV on roof providing electricity
  • 100% of energy needs supplied by renewables
  • Eligible for Non Domestic RHI