A historic house in Northamptonshire is one of the first in the county to install a water source heat pump to help conserve the building and its contents.
The renewable energy system is now in place at Kelmarsh Hall, ensuring that the Grade I listed hall will be heated to a constant temperature throughout the winter months, which is vital in protecting the fabric of the building and its chattels.
The system, funded by energy company E.ON, sources heat from the estate’s lake.
Coils of pipe containing an environmentally friendly fluid have been submerged in the lake: this fluid travels around the collectors and takes low-grade heat from the water to the heat pump situated in the basement of the hall.
Sensors are fixed to the outside of the hall so that the heat pump varies the temperature of the heating water according to the weather.
In extremely cold conditions, heat can be automatically drawn from an oil boiler until the optimum temperature is reached.
The new system is constantly working, meaning that a stable temperature is maintained instead of the peaks and troughs created by the previous heating system.
The £200,000 project by Ecovision Renewable Energy will see Kelmarsh’s reliance on oil cut by at least 60 per cent.
Previously, Kelmarsh was using about 50,000 litres of oil a year at a cost of around £25,000.
Kelmarsh Hall’s operations manager, Des Brack, said: “This new system will significantly reduce our carbon footprint and our reliance on fossil fuels.
“We looked at several different options and this proved to be the best one for us.
“There is no visual impact and it is very discreet, which is of upmost importance with a listed building.
“It’s the first time we’ve had a renewable energy system of this size at Kelmarsh Hall – it’s about making the estate more sustainable.”
Derek Wright, Ecovision’s director of country houses, said: “We are delighted to have designed and installed a system which will provide many benefits to Kelmarsh Hall.
“This installation will also qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme, meaning that the system will pay for itself in five years.”
The roof covering at Kelmarsh Hall is being completely replaced this winter, which will also help to insulate the building and regulate the temperature.