Case Studies

Case Study - Bro Castell Community Shared Ground Loops

Shared ground loop heat pump system installed in community housing.

Bro Castell is a social housing community made up of 10 flats and bungalows. A new, low-carbon heating system was required to replace inefficient overnight storage heaters and improve the comfort of residents. With limited space within the properties, we recommended the MasterTherm AquaMaster Mini Inverter (AQ17i).The AQ17i is not just capable of fitting into small areas, but also provides a heat output of 5kW to deliver sufficient heating to each of the residents within the Bro Castell community.

Due to the amount of of flats and bungalows placed in one area the best solution was to use a shared ground loop system. This method involved drilling boreholes in the Bro Castell car park (located directly outside the flats and bungalows) around 100m deep.

Shared ground loop system

A shared ground loop is the name given to a district heating network where at least two or more properties have an individual heat pump connected to a communal ground loop. The shared ground loop is installed in a series of boreholes, central to either a community of houses or serving one large building of multiple dwellings. 

Advantages of a shared ground loop system

  • Independence Occupants have an individual heat pump powered by their own electrical supply. Individual billing gives residents clarity over their bills and and control over their spending, while having the ability to adjust the system to personal preference.
  • Cost savings - The cost of installing a shared ground loop is typically less than individual ground source heat pump systems. Less boreholes are needed to serve the shared loop system and drilling costs are kept to a minimum.
  • Versatility - Shared ground loops and suited to any building, whether it is a new build or retrofit. The boreholes of the system can be distributed flexibly across the site, ensuring that the ground doesn't get exhausted.
  • Resilience - Each heat pump is entirely independent of one another, so should a heat pump go down for maintenance, no other heat pump is affected.

 

System Used

The heat pump installed at Bro Castell was a MasterTherm AQ17i. The AQ17i is the most compact heat pump in the MasterTherm AquaMaster range. Due to the compact design of the AQ17i, the heat pumps can fit in small areas like utility or kitchen cupboards.

 

Key Features

  • 7 Year warranty supplied as standard with internet control 
  • Low noise with special insulation 
  • No buffer tank 
  • Low maintenance 

 

 

Borehole Drilling

Boreholes were decided to be the best installation method for the Bro Castell community. Five boreholes were drilled 100m deep in the Bro Castell car park by Thermal Earth's drilling team. Each borehole provides heat to two properties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resident Testimonial

"The heating system has improved our home, there are no more hot or cold corners and we enjoy the overall temperature. Due to pandemic we were not able to change to a smart meter for nearly a year and were charged our usual bill of £140 a month which related to old economy 7 heaters. When our meter was changed, our energy provider refunded us £800 as since the new system was installed our energy bill dropped to £37 a month. As well as enjoying a little windfall we have found everyone at Thermal Earth ready to help whenever needed. This company is the future." Kevin & Maureen Bura, Bro Castell Residents

 

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 Due to pandemic we were not able to change to a smart meter for nearly a year and were charged our usual bill of 140 a month which related to old economy 7 heaters. When our meter was changed, our energy provider refunded us 800 as since the new system was installed our energy bill dropped to 37 a month. As well as enjoying a little windfall we have found everyone at Thermal Earth ready to help whenever needed. This company is the future. 

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