Simon Gibson Transport is a European-wide transport company specialising in bulk powder transport, handling and storage. The company was established in 2000 as an owner with a single truck and has expanded to a fleet of 75 vehicles.
Recently, it moved into new offices on its existing site and rather than rely on oil or direct electric heating it invested in renewable energy. The best option for the site was an air source heat pump with fan-coil radiators to distribute the heat efficiently around the offices.
By investing in renewable energy, the company has reduced its energy bills and benefitted from the Renewable Heat Incentive, as well as enhancing its green credentials.
In designing the system, we had to make sure the heat was distributed efficiently, as well as choosing the most efficient heat pump.
For this project, we installed a 45kW Danfoss AR045 air source heat pump, with a 750 litre buffer tank. The buffer tank acts as a thermal store to offer an efficient source of heat for the offices. For the heating system, we installed Dimplex fan coil radiators – these only require 5% water volume compared to a standard panel radiator meaning less water to heat and therefore more energy savings. Small fans in the radiator blow the heat into the room, resulting in quicker response times and even more efficient running.
When taking into account the Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF), the system is 263 per cent efficient, meaning it only requires 40,000kW hours per year to generate 103,000kW hours per year of energy.
The system includes a double compressor so that if one goes down there is a back-up and a heat metre to measure exactly how much heat is consumed and generated.
The AR045 is one of Danfoss’ new heat pumps and we were one of the first companies to install this model.
The system has very quick response times. The first time it was ‘fired up’, the internal temperature rose from 12 to 18 degrees in 90 minutes.
The low-maintenance system also takes account of the temperatures inside and outside the building, to regulate heat levels and deliver a more pleasant working environment.
The installation took approximately five weeks, including the radiators, and was completed on schedule to allow the company’s staff to move into their new offices.
The air source heat pump was ground mounted with the adjacent buffer tank inside the building.
The fact the building was empty meant there was no disruption to the business. We fitted in with the building company, which was renovating the new offices, to ensure we finished on time for the other tradesmen to complete their work.
Return On Investment
The payback period is estimated at seven years, taking into account the RHI payments and energy cost savings.
It is estimated the heating bills will be £3,000 a year compared to £8,000 for oil. In addition, the company will be eligible for RHI payments totalling £50,000 over 20 years.
The company is now considering installing Solar PV on some of its buildings to contribute to the cost of running the heat pump and to take advantage of the Feed-in-Tariff.
The air source heat pump will save 15 tons of CO2 per year and has a lifespan of 20 years, compared to 12 years for a typical boiler.
At a glance
Client: Simon Gibson Transport
Commissioned`: February 2014
Renewable technology: Air source heat pump and fan coil radiators
System used: 45kW Danfoss AR045 air source heat pump, with a 750 litre buffer tank. Dimplex fan-coil radiators.
CO2 saving: 15 tons a year.
Energy cost saving: £5k a year compared oil.
RHI payments: £2.5k for 20 years, index linked to inflation.
Payback period: Estimated year seven (combining RHI income and energy cost saving compared to oil)
Simon Gibson, owner Simon Gibson Transport Ltd
Why did you invest in renewable energy?
To reduce our heating bills. We asked for advice from Pure Renewables and the team said an air source heat pump was the best fit for the size of the offices we were moving into.
Why did you choose Pure Renewables?
When I was looking into it, I contacted four different suppliers but Pure Renewables was the most informative and attentive to detail.
How do you rate the service you got from Pure Renewables?
They did a first-class job. They didn’t cause any inconvenience and kept disruption to a minimum. It was business as usual while they were here.
The team worked really well with the builders, joiners, plasterers, decorators, plumbers and everyone else involved in the project to make sure it went smoothly.
How is the technology performing?
The heat pump was installed in February 2014. It’s performing excellently and never misses a beat. The offices maintain a good temperature day and night.