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Heat pumps


Interesting developments abound!

We have been looking at different heating technology for Novy Mlyn. One option is a heat pump. This proven technology uses heat from a source such as underground, air or water and concentrates the heat, kind of like a fridge in reverse. For the energy you put into the system you should get about four times that out.

First of all I needed to calculate the amount of heat which would be needed for Novy Mlyn. After a bit of a trawl around the Interweb I found a formula from Georgia State University. Using a ‘back of envelope’ measurement of the number of very cold days I would expect at Novy Mlyn, my estimate was a requirement for a 31kwh system.

There are three types of heat pump available to us – a closed slinky system dug in 1.5m underground over an extensive area, a closed 100m bore hole or an open system where we take water from the ground directly. The third option looked preferable as we could then use the water we had taken out of our well bore to top up our swimming pond, perhaps putting it through some solar heating mechanism to warm it up a bit first.

On Monday we were visited by a representative from Mitsubishi and a very experienced architect I know through teaching English. Their estimate was a heat requirement of 30 – 35 kw. I was very happy that my calculation was within the same range. We have asked for a quote for a system which will cater for 10 people on average, with underfloor heating and small radiators. We discussed the open loop system, but the Mitsubishi guy estimates that we would need to pump 100 litres of water a minute in order to draw off the required heat – therefore creating a massive additional energy requirement. I am having this calculation double checked by a company from Newcastle –  (stealth renewable technologies). SRT also supply silent vertical wind turbines, which could power such a system. I’d prefer to have an open water source system, mostly powered by a wind turbine, with the potential to use the water in the swimming pond, but a certain amount of our decision making must be price driven, so I need to wait for the quotes to come in.

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