As many of you will have seen in the press yesterday the Plas Newydd Marine based heat pump project has been given the green light. This comes following an initial “We’ve had an idea” after a visit to look at the fabulous Castle Howard water based heat pumps (in the lakes) over 18 months ago.
We have been keeping you informed on our progress along the way –
- We have had the divers in surveying the seabed http://ntenvironmentalwork.net/2013/03/13/plas-newydd-from-divers-to-design/
- The School of Oceanographic Studies has tracked tidal flows and temperature data
- Funding for the project has been secured as part of the National Trust investment into 5 Pilot projectshttp://ntenvironmentalwork.net/2013/04/18/3-5m-pilot-could-lead-to-35m-investment-in-renewable-energy-systems-in-the-national-trust/
- We have dynamically modelled the mansion to ensure that the heat pumps will provide an effective heating solution
- We have installed over 1000m2 of insulation to the mansion
In order to efficiently harvest the heat from the sea we have been investigating heat exchangers, filters, intake and discharge pipes, compressors, pump sets, and the various components required to take the heat from the Menai Strait and deliver this to the mansion where it is required.
All of this kit needs housing in a pump house which needs to be constructed close to the shoreline. During our discussions with specialist consultants and contractors one question was at the front of our minds:
“How do you stop the pump house simply floating away on a high tide?”
The pump house itself will be set back from the edge of the causeway and now we know the actual space required to house the kit we are enlisting the services of photomontage specialists and our curators to ensure that the look of the building itself will be in keeping with the environment. In order to ensure the height of the building is kept to a minimum, high level access doors will be situated in both of the end walls. The heat exchangers themselves will be located above the potential high water level.
The Menai Strait has a wide tidal range meaning that the internal floor of the building needs to be water and wave proof in order to mitigate against high water spring tides. Due to the risk from waves the bottom sections of the structure will need to be sufficiently robust utilising a prefabricated construction of glass fibre which will be bolted down and anchored to the base.
We have sourced glass fibre reinforced pump-sets with silicon components as these pumps will be located at floor level. Similarly the strainers are stainless steel in construction.
These “How to” practical considerations are the things that I find fascinating, and the ongoing considerations for ease of maintenance and cleaning are the common sense elements that most projects tend to miss.