Ground source for historic hall

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Published: 07 October 2019


ground source heat pump system listed renewable energy thermal store ground loop
Raynham Hall in Norfolk
A 17th Century property in Norfolk has invested in a new renewable system to cut costs and deliver more effective heating.

The project at Grade 1 listed Raynham Hall, near Fakenham, has seen renewable heating specialist Finn Geotherm replace an old and ineffective oil boiler with a new ground source heat pump.
This is the sort of larger period property that everyone tries to tell you can’t be heated with a heat pump but my ground source system proves otherwise
Built in 1621, Raynham Hall is a spectacular property set in 5,000 acres. It is lived in by Charles, the 8th Marquess Townshend, who inherited the property in 2010. The hall also hosts a series of events each year including recitals and guided tours.

As custodian of Raynham Hall, Lord Townshend has to save money or make money for the hall and takes his responsibility to maintain the property very seriously. At £36,000, the annual heating bill was too expensive and the boiler system needed to be upgraded.

Lord Townsend explained: “Originally installed in the 1950s, the existing oil boiler was old, outdated, overworked and inefficient. It had been augmented over the years by several supplementary pumps to aid heat distribution and the pumps often fought against each other. A hot water tank in the top of the building was fed by the boiler at the bottom of the house, meaning it took hours to get any hot water.”

After a thorough heat loss survey, encompassing all 62 rooms, Finn Geotherm specified 2 x Lämpöässä Eli 90 ground source heat pumps with a 3000 litre thermal store to supply all heating for the Hall, as well as hot water for its 12 bathrooms. The ground source heat pump is fed by 10km of ground loop installed beneath grounds incorporating the old cricket pitch.

Since it was installed, heating costs at Raynham Hall have been cut by 64% and the amount of energy consumed has been reduced by 72.6%. The installation also qualifies for the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which provides quarterly payments based on the amount of heat energy used for 20 years. The system will pay back in around seven years.

“The previous heating system was terrible,” said Lord Townshend. “However, results for the heat pump so far have been extraordinarily good. The house is now very comfortable. Finn Geotherm could not have been more helpful – they wanted to deliver a heating system which would work with and enhance our everyday lives and this does exactly that. You put up with a lot when you live in a large house but there really is no need to go without adequate heating and hot water. It’s a huge problem we’ve been living with which has just disappeared.

“This is the sort of larger period property that everyone tries to tell you can’t be heated with a heat pump but my ground source system proves otherwise. I am delighted to be using modern technology to heat my 17th Century home – it is the perfect combination.”

Guy Ransom, commercial director at Finn Geotherm said: “Raynham Hall is an ideal illustration of the massive impact a heat pump can have in older properties. One of the unique features of this ground source installation is that you can barely see it! Working with Natural England and archaeologists to monitor the project, the careful design and installation of our heat pump system has ensured that the exquisite architecture of Raynham Hall remains exactly as it was but, for the first time in its long history, the hall is now properly heated.”

The current RHI scheme is set to end in March 2021 for new applications.

www.finn-geotherm.co.uk