After being included in our Five Biggest Pumps in the World article earlier this year; Plas Newydd, the National Trust property in Anglesey, has won an energy efficiency award thanks to the installation of the world’s largest marine source heat pump.
Utilising the tidal waves of the Menai Strait, the mansion is powered entirely by natural energy. This represents a huge U-turn for the 18th century mansion which was formerly the National Trust’s biggest consumer of oil – using 138,000 litres of the fuel every year at an annual cost of roughly £70,000.
The Plas Newydd marine source heat pump drives a small volume of sea water from the Menai Strait through a network of pipes to a heat exchanger on the shore and then on to the mansion’s boiler house, 30 metres up a cliff face.
Richard Kimpton, Managing Director of Kimpton Energy Services, the company which carried out the installation explained: “Plas Newydd was a complex and challenging project which involved us working around the tides in order to move equipment and carry out the installation. The design phase of the project was incredibly demanding and had to ensure that our calculations met the criteria of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which stipulates specific performance requirements.
“The Plas Newydd installation was an extremely innovative project involving a team of more than 40 people and it is fantastic that it has now been recognised in these important national awards.”
The installation was a part of the National Trust’s Grow Your Own Energy initiative which targets a total energy reduction of 20% through all of its sites and properties. The incorporation of renewable energy sources is helping the organisation meet half of the energy targets.
The initiative has seen a number of firsts including the first marine source pump of its kind in the UK, and the first in the open sea rather than in a harbour.
Adam Ellis-Jones, Assistant Director for Operations in Wales for the National Trust, enthused: “With the Irish Sea right on the doorstep of Plas Newydd, a marine source heat pump was the best option for us. However, being a pioneer is never easy. There are very few marine source heat pumps and nothing of this size in the UK, so it has been a challenging project but a very exciting one.”
Plas Newydd is a Grade 1 listed mansion with beautiful views across Snowdonia and overlooking two other feats of engineering: the Menai and Britannia brides. The estate has further dedicated itself to green, renewable energy – with electricity supplied by a 50kW solar array. This has helped more than 150,000 orchids flourish and lead to a 40% reduction in energy consumption.
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