London’s Underground Rivers!

Heat Seeking In London’s Lost Rivers 

Its good to see the subject of water-source heat pumps being discussed widely. The UK has many rivers, lakes – and of course the sea!
We should be looking at opportunities to use these sources whenever possible; they provide a low carbon and low running cost option for all heating and cooling duties.

Heat Decarbonisation 

Another excellent article that only goes to prove that Heat Pumps are the only viable route to decarbonising heat in the UK!

2018 – busy with boreholes and soil surveys!

2018 – busy with boreholes and soil surveys! The highlights so far are:

7 thermal response tests from locations from London to Orkney. These have been performed with equipment with capability for testing closed-loop GSHP boreholes of up to 250m depth.

Successfully drilled and licensed 2 water supply boreholes, and are about to embark on two more in London and Shropshire.
A large project to complete the testing on an open-loop GSHP system that will provide 1MW of heating

We are about to move forward with detailed design for a large river-abstraction project to provide 1MW of heating via a water-source-heat-pump to a County Council building

Field surveys for measurement of soil thermal conductivity at 15 locations, again all over England, Wales and Scotland. Many of these are for large polytunnel fruit growers looking to install GSHP heating systems in preference to out-of-favour biomass heating.

Continuing fall of grid power ‘carbon factor’

Although the view from my window looks grey and damp (again), the longer days and greater output from PV panels are becoming noticeable as we move into Spring. Not so long ago the power generation ‘carbon factor’ averaged over 500 grammes of CO2 per kilo-Watt-hour of power generated (500gCO2/kWh). As the UK’s wind and solar generation capacities increase, and coal-fired generation is withdrawn, we are seeing a continued fall of the carbon factor. Carbon emissions in 2016 were 36% below the reference year of 1990, against which legal targets to cut climate pollution are measured. Recent figures from the DBEIS suggests UK carbon emissions in 2016 were at the lowest level since 1894! Progress indeed!

So what does this mean for our heating technologies? A ground-source heat pump (GSHP) with a conservative seasonal performance factor (SPF) of 3.0 is 41% more carbon efficient than a gas-fired boiler operating at 92% efficiency. Against a typical oil-fired boiler, the carbon saving is 61%. For GSHPs operating in new build properties, the carbon reduction can be even higher. Heat pumps are also zero NOx and zero particulate emitters at the point of use. Zero carbon grid electricity remains some way off, but there are heat pumps operating today that will one day provide zero-carbon heating.

Government policy: Renewable heat, carbon and all that …

Our quarterly rant: Government policy, renewable heat, carbon and all that…

Future generations won’t thank us for the current lack of technical understanding within our senior political ranks. It was, to say the least, a little disappointing that no party in the snap-election bothered to mention renewables policy. At the same time, the climate-change denying dinosaur Trump promotes the use of coal and oil in the face of accelerating increase of global temperature and atmospheric CO2.

Despite all of this, we can report that GSHP, renewables and water resource works are all busy. We believe there have been so many false starts, U-turns and instances of good old-fashioned government mess-ups over the last seven years with regard to the RHI and renewables policy that people and investors have decided that we may as well just get on with it! In a similar fashion, it is clear that the world will get on with implementing the Paris climate accord despite the USA’s brainless stance.

As regards the RHI; we have a degree of continuity. Despite some tabled amendments to RHI policy (delayed by the election and summer recess), Carbon Zero Consulting are confident the RHI will remain open to applications until March 31st 2021. Work is now in progress at the department of BEIS to develop strategies for the ‘post-RHI’ environment. This is likely to take the form of planning requirements for renewable energy provision – rather than payment of tariffs.

UK renewable energy has managed to get column inches this summer with the significant contribution of solar and wind power to the UK power mix – at times providing up to 50% of our energy on a sunny/windy day. Just a few years ago, the ‘carbon intensity’ of grid electricity was in excess of 500g of CO2 (this is the measure of how ‘dirty’ or how much CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere for every unit of power we all consume). This figure now averages less than 300g with some instances, of less than 100g.

This is real progress – based on investments made some years ago. We need to keep our focus on the importance of renewables in the face of huge cost increases of nuclear power. The latter is of huge importance to our future zero-carbon power mix, but we are ‘over a barrel’ due to shameful policy to allow the Chinese and French to name their nuclear power price and take control of our future energy security.

Despite the many problems and shortcomings of our government’s approach, the significant reduction of CO2 emissions means the use of heat pumps for heating and cooling has never been more attractive as they become an increasingly low-carbon technology.

Inaugural Roadshow open to all launches in Rutland

Ground Source Heat Pump Association

The Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) has chosen the County of Rutland to launch its inaugural event on Wednesday 10th May at The Rural Business Community in Seaton, Oakham to kick off its roadshow designed to educate, promote and raise awareness of Ground Source Heat Pumps. This event, which is chaired by John Findlay of Rutland based Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd and Chairman of the GSHPA will be the first in a series of regional roadshows to encourage the uptake of Ground Source Heat Pumps and to provide a networking forum for all existing installers.

The event, which takes place from 2pm at The Rural Business Community in Seaton, Oakham (LE15 9HT) is free and open to all local installers, plumbers, heating engineers, architects, building developers and building related contractors, or indeed anyone interested in renewable energy, wishing to gain valuable information from a group of experts in their field. To secure a place, please register your attendance by emailing jen.billings@gshp.org.uk. There will be an opportunity to ask technical questions to the impressive line-up of speakers, who will be taking part in a Q & A panel discussion. The speakers include;

• John Findlay of Rutland based Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, a Chartered Engineer with over 35 years of international engineering project management and geosciences experience. He has worked with blue chip companies around the world to deliver all aspects of installation from design to end user. As well as Chairman of the GSHPA, John is also a technical advisor to OFGEM and provided input to the Environment Agency Good Practice Guidelines, the BGS open loop screening tool and the CIBSE code of practice for WSHPs.

• Chris Davidson, who is only one of a few certified GeoExchange Designers operating in the UK and has overseen over 200MW of system installations from individual houses to multi-award winning projects such as One New Change in London. Chris recently founded GeniusEnergyLab, which brings a fresh approach to low carbon system design and consultation to the UK. He also Chairs the Policy Development Team at the GHSPA.

• Kevin Cox, Contracts Manager of J. Tomlinson Ltd who has considerable experience in installing GSHPs in a number of Housing Association developments.

• Alex Driver, Managing Director of Orangehouse Renewables, Stamford are local renewable energy installation specialists.

The event would be of interest to a Local Authority or nearby Housing Associations needing to explore all the options in providing heating and potentially cooling in developments, where the GSHPA can offer independent advice and guidance on the most suitable course of action.

The location of the event itself, The Rural Business Community in Seaton, is heated by a Ground Source Heat Pump so there will be an opportunity to see this in action.

The GSHPA would be delighted to welcome you should you wish to find out more information about anything Ground Source Heat related. All you need to do is register your attendance by emailing Jen Billings at jen.billings@gshp.org.uk or phone 07576 550877.

Ends

For Further Media Information, please contact:
Charlotte Hassenstein – Charlotte@carbonzeroco.com or 07770 444 051
Notes to Editors:
GSHPA has over 100 members and our principal aim is to encourage the growth and development of the ground source heat pump industry in the United Kingdom by:
 Promoting the efficient and sustainable use of ground source heat pumps
 Raising awareness of the benefits of ground source heat pumps
 Developing ground source installation Standards
 Encouraging high standards of training for the industry
 Providing a forum for information interchange
 Liaising with related organisations to benefit the ground source industry
 Lobbying for Ground Source Energy industry in matters of local, national and international interest to members

For further information visit our website at www.gshp.org.uk or email info@gshp.org.uk

No better time to consider renewable heat!

Our quarterly rant: Despite everything, there has never been a better time to install a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) of the provision of renewable heat.

The UK does not have targets for the increased provision of renewable heat; rather a requirement to lower carbon emissions across the board. The UK’s fifth carbon budget, due for parliamentary approval this year, recommends a 57% reduction in UK emissions from 2028-2032 on 1990 levels.

The committee for climate change (CCC) recently commented that ‘Heating and hot water for UK buildings make up around 40% of our energy consumption and 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions. It will be necessary to largely eliminate these emissions by around 2050 to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and to maintain the UK contribution to the Paris Agreement. Progress to date has stalled. The Government needs a credible new strategy and a much stronger policy framework for buildings decarbonisation’.

Progress has indeed stalled since the Brexit referendum, cabinet reshuffle, scrapping of DECC and absorption of all things carbon/renewable into the catchily named new department of ‘Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’ (DBEIS). It is likely that we will be told a little more about the fate of the RHI and renewable heat in early December. We await with great interest what BEIS have taken 6 months to mull-over!.

The UK’s long term aim for the provision of heating for domestic and commercial premises is to utilise low carbon (and ultimately zero carbon) electricity to provide renewable heat via heat pumps. Great strides have already been taken to reduce the ‘carbon intensity’ of mains electricity. Coal, the worst possible option for emissions of CO2, has rapidly become a minor contributor to our mix of power sources with gas, nuclear and renewables providing the bulk.

Just 3 years ago, the carbon intensity of grid electricity was often in excess of 500g of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour (500gCO2/kWh). Now, with increased contribution from renewables and gas, the average has fallen to 300gCO2 or less.  This will continue to fall as more renewables are brought on line, and eventually more nuclear – although I fear Hinckley and other nuclear projects have further hurdles to jump before they power-up your heat pump!

The major ‘fuel’ source for a GSHP is, of course, the ground. A well-designed and maintained borehole or trenched ground array will provide renewable heat for 100 years or more – provided nobody digs it up! As such a ground array acts as a very long term capital asset for the system owner. With the significant reduction of carbon emissions from electricity production, there has never been a better time to install heat pumps.

There is ongoing technical demand and client desire to utilise GSHP systems, but in a government incentivised market, there is an urgent and absolute requirement for clarity and certainty from DBEIS. To read more from Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, visit our news section. 

Water Supply Boreholes: An Outline For Development

Making use of groundwater to save your business money can seem like a daunting process. Here is a simple guide outlining the process from feasibility to installation – and how we can help you.

 
1) Firstly, determine how much water you will need to abstract. This needs to be an estimate of daily and hourly demand – as well as the peak (instantaneous) rate required for your process or business. The amount of water required will affect viability, borehole design and other areas such as licensing. (If you abstract more than 20m3/day you will need an Abstraction License from the Environment Agency). If you are unsure how much water you will need, we are more than happy to help with assessment.

 
2) Initial geological assessment; unlike many companies, as part of our initial contact we will provide a short geological assessment to determine viability of water supply – before you have to spend any money! If we think your site is a candidate for further assessment, we will say so. If it is not worth the outlay – we will tell you that as well.

 
3) The next step is a hydrogeological survey to determine the amount water that is likely to be available from a borehole at your location, the quality of water, potential treatments required for the purpose you require, budget costs and design of the borehole. Not all sites within the UK are able to support a private water supply – but we will maximise your chances to obtain one.

 
4) Once our hydrogeological assessment has been completed we will help to make the decision to proceed with construction. We will then assist in agreeing a contract with a suitably qualified and competent driller. We have longstanding relations with trustworthy drilling companies with the right expertise and plant for a particular project. We can also provide specifications and tender documents to obtain competitive quotes.

 
5) Once the borehole has been drilled we provide the work necessary to test your borehole to confirm sustainable flow rate and water quality. Furthermore, if you are to abstract more than 20m3/day we help with the application process to obtain an abstraction license. Carbon Zero Consulting will help you to meet all regulatory requirements for a private water supply.

 
A well-designed and installed private water supply borehole will meet your needs for many years to come. We provide monitoring and maintenance services for some boreholes that have operated for nearly 100 years! You will not only significantly reduce costs but also have greater security of supply compared to mains water.

 
If you have any questions, please call us on: 01572 729510 or email: john@carbonzeroco.com
Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, www.carbonzeroco.com

Hottest April on record globally

Global temperature records show that April was the hottest on record – this follows March breaking the same record. Furthermore, it is the seventh month in a row to break global temperature records, this all but guarantees that 2016 will be the hottest year on record.

April’s temperature smashed the previous record by 0.24°C and was 0.87°C above the average baseline. Scientists are now becoming worried that it may be impossible to meet the 1.5°C temperature cap agreed at the Paris summit with doubt even being raised on a 2°C cap. This worrying trend of smashing temperature records shows the need for immediate action to reduce our carbon emissions.

UK national grid uses no coal for first time in over 100 years

The UK’s national grid has been producing electricity without any assistance from coal fired power plants for the first time since 1882. This historic event occurred late Monday 10th May and spanned into the early hours of Tuesday morning. This was again repeated over the weekend.

The government has stated its plans to phase out coal power by 2025 as it is has a significantly higher ‘carbon intensity’ compared to gas (and of course energy from renewables and nuclear has zero carbon intensity). The reduced reliance on coal is excellent news for heat pump owners as reduced grid carbon intensity will see the carbon efficiency of heat pumps improve even further.

UK Grid Carbon Intensity on 14/05/2016