Communal heat-pump system heats Gateshead apartments
Communal heating for a development of 85 high-specification riverside apartments on the River Tyne at Gateshead is provided by nine Dimplex 28 kW air-source heat pumps. Each home in Friars Wharf has underfloor heating with individual time and temperature control. They are supplied with relatively cool hot water to maximise efficiency. Heat meters in each apartment can be remotely read, so that each owner pays only for the energy they use.
For developer Riverside Apartments, this project was an extension of its core business of developing and running care homes, where the consistently rising energy costs of recent years has highlighted the need to include renewable to provide some insulation from future price hikes.
Director Gary Houghton explains, ‘We calculated that the capital cost of an air-source heat-pump system could be recouped in as little as two or three years. So for us it was clear that this type of system could make a significant contribution to reducing running costs in an 85-unit development.
‘We’ve also had a lot of support from Dimplex on running the system. One year on, we’ve had no problems with the heat pumps at all — and no complaints during the exceptionally harsh winter of 2009-10. The resident’s bills are extremely low, below the levels we anticipated.’
The nine LA 28 AS air-source heat pumps are arranged in two separate banks and provide heat to all apartments, which are arranged in three blocks. The scheme was specified, designed and installed by Azure Natural Energy Systems, a Dimplex heat-pump installer partner.