Upon completion in late spring, the system will provide heat and cooling across four new poultry sheds, making it the largest GSHP installation in the UK poultry sector.

GSHPs use pipes buried underground to extract natural energy stored in the earth, banishing the need for fossil fuels and therefore lowering CO2 emissions.

The poultry farm project will use 11km of vertical boreholes to deliver highly controlled temperature loads of 33C and drop to 20C over the agricultural cycle and during warmer weather, the fan coils will help reduce humidity and heat levels.

As well as environmental benefits, there are financial advantages to heat pump technology. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the cost of heating the highly insulated poultry units using LPG would be 5.4p per kWh, whereas heat delivered using heat pump technology is 3p per kWh.

Additional benefits

TGE heat director Matthew Evans said: “Heat pumps have many benefits over biomass boilers for new poultry units. They eliminate the need for regular fuel deliveries on top of the other delivery activities involved on site, which can have an impact on planning.

“Service and maintenance requirements are higher with biomass, plus heat pumps offer the additional benefits of cooling and de-humidification. The initial, higher capital cost is soon recouped by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), payable for ever unit of heat generated, making payback times similar to biomass.

“For this project, the payback period is just over four years, with £4m in savings and income over the 20-year RHI term. The system should also be eligible for tax relief from the 100% enhanced capital allowance.”

Lois Vallely

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