Spent a really good few days with Paul interviewing possible partner companies to work on the outline design for the marine source heat pump.The purpose of the design aspect is to use it to discuss with the statutory bodies in some detail before we go for the required FEPA licence. It was really heartening to see so much experience in the Uk but also tales of woe from the long lead in to the RHi process to date.
We met with five companies and they came up with as many scenarios and solutions. What is good about discussing with so many engineers is the fact that they highlighted the possible problems but also approaches to tackle them. On the agenda was closed loop vs open loop but also hybrid solutions e.g. pumping from the sea to a heat exchanger on the shore and then a closed loop system from the heat exchanger. But we also needed to supply higher heat for hot water for the flats and catering unit which added a complexity. One of the novel ideas discussed was drilling on the land to find a fault line and pumping sea water from the fault thus avoiding the sea bit but using the heat resource. Plus quite a few more innovative approaches
We now have a day or two of evaluation before we choose the appropriate company but it was good to see so much quality and experience out there. One of the keys to the decision is simplicity in delivery and designing out the need for mitigation at the concept stage e.g. marine pipe protection, sediment filtration, large pump sets for moving sea water