When HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, personally brokered a £45million deal to secure the 2,000 acre Dumfries House Estate in Scotland, the idea was to create a sustainable business to help regenerate the local economy in East Ayrshire.
Offering a host of environmental, operational and cost benefits, the installation of renewable heating systems throughout the estate would be central to this sustainable approach.
With a range of old and new buildings serving a multitude of uses, it would be no easy task to convert the estate from oil to renewable heating systems. However, thanks to an ongoing partnership between heat pump manufacturer Dimplex and renewable energy installer Ecoliving, Dumfries House is now a shining example of how to successfully install renewable heating systems in commercial building stock – and the benefits it can bring.
The unique project, which started in 2012 and was still in progress by the start of 2015, covered a large number of renewable heat installations including Dimplex air source heat pump and ground source heat pump systems. Historic buildings have been refurbished to a high standard, whilst new facilities have been sensitively built to create new learning environments and improve local employment opportunities.
Combining high-performance Dimplex heat pumps with the skill of Ecoliving’s site installation teams and the expertise of Dimplex’s in-house renewable heating design team, the rolling programme has transformed the estate’s whole approach to energy; delivering low heating bills and ensuring a sustainable future for all.
Through careful design and high standards of workmanship, it has also enabled Dumfries House to successfully apply for non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) funding to support the cost of the installations.
Highlights from the project include:
Tamar Manoukian Outdoor Centre
The Outdoor Centre offers accommodation for up to 60 people in two separate wings, together with a central dining area and relaxation area. Used predominantly to house participants on residential courses, it has been designed to complement the existing architecture on the estate, including a corrugated roof, rope-hung case and sash windows, and Scottish larch cladding to exterior walls.
With a peak heating demand of 26.3 kW, a Dimplex SI30TE ground source heat pump was installed, while another Dimplex SIH20TE high temperature ground source heat pump delivers hot water for residents.
The heat pumps are installed on opposite sides of the plant room, together with six Dimplex WWSP 880L hot water cylinders with 6kW immersion heaters.
They take their heat energy from an aquifer buried deep below the site. This underground source of water (open loop) maintains a constant temperature all year round and is pumped up through a heat exchanger and then returned to the aquifer.
Located next to the Tamar Manoukian Outdoor Centre, The Drill Hall is a purpose-built 630m2 sports and climbing complex used by day and residential visitors including those staying in the outdoor centre.
With underfloor heating installed throughout the games hall (below a sprung sports floor), storage areas and toilets, the building had a total heating peak demand of 41kW at -4°C.
With the assistance of the Dimplex in-house design experts, Ecoliving designed and installed an air source heat pump system to heat the underfloor system, comprising a high efficiency Dimplex LA 60 TU air source heat pump with 500 litre Dimplex buffer cylinder, which incorporates 12kW of backup heating.
The system will provide an output of 44kW at an outdoor temperature of -4°C, and will operate at an SPF of 3.7 – more than meeting the required heating demand.
The newly constructed Pierburg Building houses the Education Centre with two classrooms, a potting shed and a meeting space where, amongst other activities, local schools come to learn about gardening, food production and the use of fresh produce as a link to healthy eating.
Ecoliving installed a ground source heat pump system consisting of a Dimplex SI18TU ground source heat pump, Dimplex WWSP 880L hot water cylinder and two 200m boreholes adjacent to the building. Space heating is provided via radiators, fed by the heat pump system.
A joint venture between supermarket chain Morrisons and Dumfries House, the farm aims to show how modern farming can be economically and environmentally sustainable.
Heating and hot water for a newly constructed five-bedroom farmhouse is delivered by a Dimplex LA9MI air source heat pump system, installed with a 75L Dimplex EC-Eau heat pump cylinder.
The rooms are heated by Dimplex Smartrad fan-assisted radiators, which operate at a low temperature to maximise the performance of the heat pump system. With less than 15 per cent of the water content in a conventional radiator, they also offer quicker warm up and cool down times for added comfort in the farmhouse.
Oliver Middlemiss, Estate Manager for Dumfries House, said: “At Dumfries House we value the working relationship we have with Dimplex and Ecoliving because they can be relied on to take a renewables project from feasibility right through to commissioning, on time and on budget.
“Both Dimplex and Ecoliving have a great range of experience in renewable technologies and the air source and ground source heat pumps installed on the estate have proved to be excellent products that deliver exactly what we need them to, in terms of performance, efficiency and running costs.”
Mark Henderson, Founder and Director of Ecoliving, said: “Dumfries House is an exemplar site for renewable heat in commercial buildings, as it shows the application of new, clean and innovative technology in old and new buildings and demonstrates the effectiveness of them within a variety of uses.
“Working in close partnership, Dimplex and Ecoliving have been able to successfully deliver a significant project, which offers economical, ecological, societal and educational benefits – all as part of a wider regeneration project.
Karen Trewick, Director of Communications for Dimplex said: “This rolling programme of bespoke heat pump installations has not only delivered benefits for the Dumfries House Estate, but goes some way to demonstrate the true potential of renewable heat, and particularly heat pump technology, in the commercial sector.
“We have supplied high temperature, high efficiency heat pumps for a variety of applications, transforming old buildings and securing the sustainable future of new ones. We were proud to be a part of this project and look forward to seeing the results for many years to come.”