Green Buildings 2011 – Info on Sustainable Village Hall Project

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  1. Steve’s Information on Postwick’s Ground Source Heat Pump


    RENERGY, based in Blofield Heath, installed Postwick’s ground source heat pump and ground loop in January 2011.

    The Ground Loop

    The ground loop is at a depth of 2m and consists of 12 separate loops (arrays), each of around 100m continuous length 25mm pipe. The pipe has a 200 year design life and it has no joins – which are the weak links, except at the manifold where the arrays all meet under the concrete slab near the play ground. 25mm diameter is deemed an optimum diameter – a relatively large surface area to volume ratio.

    The pipes are filled with a water / antifreeze solution. The 1.2 kilometre of pipes hold around 400litres of fluid and cover an area of around 650m2. It can take several months for the air to be expelled from the system and a top up source is maintained in the plant room to enable this.

    As a rule of thumb the ground area necessary is 1.5 to 2 times the floor area of the property being heated. Individually circumstances affect this (insulation efficiency of the property and soil conditions). There is a risk if the area is too small that too much heat can be taken from the ground and give rise to frost heave – the soils can lift causing structural problems to any buildings and above.

    The main pipes from the ground array to the pump room are laid approximately 1.5m apart, in order that the cold return pipes do not cool the warm pipes coming from the ground array.

    The ground loop can either be vertical or horizontal. Generally vertical loops are more costly to install, but require less surface area. The excavations for the ground array cost £6,000. To have a similar output, four vertical boreholes would have had to have been drilled. To a depth of 90m, these boreholes would have cost us around £5,000 each to drill.

    The 2m depth of the pipes is optimal and gives a reasonably static soil temperature of 9 to 13 degrees all year round. For greater efficiency, the heat pump performs best where the difference between the heat returning from the pumps and the soil temperature is the greatest.

    Soil conditions have a big impact on the efficiency of the system. Sandier dry soils are not as effective as clay / wet soils. Postwick is fortunate to have a mixed loam, even then the pipes are laid on sand – more to protect the pipes from stone than improve heat transfer.

    Plant Room

    The plant room houses the 2x 8kw heat pumps. Unfortunately for Postwick the electric supply isn’t 3 phase and so a larger single pump was not an option. Despite requiring 2 pumps, they work together as master and slave (one pump rests whilst the other is working). This is automatic.

    How does the heat pump work?
    The antifreeze from the ground loop is a sealed system and the heat is extracted by a heat exchanger into a refrigerant (a highly heat efficient gas). This results in heat being transferred at around 8 degrees (the process isn’t 100% efficient). Taking this heat from the ground loop array can often mean the liquid returning to the ground is below freezing – hence the need for the antifreeze!

    To increase the refrigerant heat output from 8 to 70 degrees is achieved by a scroll compressor in the heat pump. As in a cycle pump, the increase in pressure causes heat. This process is incredibly efficient when compared to fossil fuel boiler heating. A ground source heat pump works at efficiency of 350 to 450% compared to a modern gas boiler of 85%. I.e. for each kilowatt of energy put into the process around 4kw of energy are output.

    When it comes to noise, it’s pleasantly surprising to note that the pumps are only marginally noisier than a domestic fridge.

    The refrigerant which is now heated to 70 degrees passes through another heat exchanger that heats water. This water is held in a buffer tank at around 40-50 degrees. The buffer tank is necessary as heat pumps are most efficient if they run for 20-30 minutes rather than stop start. Generally a tank that can hold 20x the output of the system is required. In our case we have a 200 litre tanks which is in excess of the 20 times the 8kw output. Due to the large surface area of the coils (10cm diameter) within the tank it can be refiiled from cold in around 30 minutes.

    The radiators draw off from the buffer tank as and when needed. A conventional hot water radiator system runs at around 60 degrees, the lower temperature means that new radiators were required for Postwick to emit the heat. These radiators have multiple, highly efficient, electric fans within them to help distribute the heat. This lower temperature output is one reason why ground source heat pumps are much more suited to underfloor heating which requires a lower temperature.

    What about hot water? A conventional hot water system runs around 60 degrees and cold water is mixed with the hot to bring it down to the desired temperature. Is the 40-50 degrees output a problem? No, for two reasons, most people set the shower temperature at between 41 and 43 degrees and new building regulations (to prevent accidental scalding) require a maximum hot water temperature of 45 degrees.

    Upon seeing the equipment in the plant room we often hear comments that it is big. Although smaller units are available, space wasn’t the issue at Postwick and most of the equipment is German where their house designs included basements which can house such equipment so size isn’t so much a concern.

    The total cost for the heat pumps, ground loop and fitting came to about £35,000 and was in part grant funded. A domestic system can be installed for £12,000 to £15,000 and with the anticipated Renewable Heat Incentive due soon, this could lead to a payback of 10 years.

    In, summary the two most important points when considering a ground source heat pump are:

    1. the ground area (size and soil type)
    2. how the heat will be passed to the property (underfloor or radiators)

  2. Helene’s Information on Community Grants
    GRANTfinder is the UK’s leading grants and policy database and includes details in excess of 7,000 funding opportunities. Our services include access to: a flexibly searchable database; Newsflash service; deadlines listing; and Research Help Desk. What’s more, our information is continuously updated. GRANTfinder subscribers include: local authorities; the voluntary and charitable sector; universities and colleges; housing associations; the health sector; and business support organisations.
    The regulator of the Landfill Community Fund

    Sarah Gosling, tel: 01953 714987 grant area manager
    Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN)
    Small grants scheme

    The Small Grant Scheme is designed to assist applicants looking for funding on small projects that can make a real difference to their local communities.
    To apply under the Small Grant scheme your project should:
    • Apply for funding of between £2,000 and £15,000 with a total project cost of under £50,000
    • Be completed within 12 months of the funding decision
    • Provided all information required at the point of application
    • Be situated within 10 miles of a Waste Recycling Group landfill site
    In addition, only the following types of projects can be considered for the Small Grant Scheme
    • Village Halls
    • Community Centres
    • Public Parks
    • Skate Parks
    • Multi-Use Games Areas
    • Country Parks
    • Cycleways
    • Bridleways
    • Museums
    • Recreation Grounds
    • Nature Reserves
    • Village Greens
    • Public Footpaths/Towpaths
    • Multi-Purpose Sports Clubs (not members only)
    • Playgrounds (not on school grounds)

    WREN can fund a wide range of projects under Objects D of the Landfill Communities Fund.
    Funding of between £15,001 and £50,000 is available for the following types of projects:
    • The provision, maintenance or improvement of a public park or other public amenity in the vicinity of a landfill site.

    Biodiversity grants:
    WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund (BAF) is an annual programme of funding designed to deliver projects under Object DA of the Landfill Communities Fund. It will provide up to £10m spread over 5 years to fund biodiversity enhancements by supporting the expansion, recovery and conservation of habitats that achieve Habitat Action Plan/Species Action Plan targets through specific improvements. Projects must be sited at clearly identified site(s) within 10 miles of any licensed landfill site in WREN’s operating areas (see below – Are you eligible).
    Environmental organisations, voluntary groups, charities, not-for-profit organisations, community groups can apply for funding as long as they have a formal constitution and bank account. In addition Local Authorities and Governmental bodies can also apply.
    The deadline for receipt of applications for Year 4 of the BAF is 31 January 2012.

    Small grants
    You can apply for between £250 and £5,000. Your project must not cost more than £10,000 in total.
    You will need to find a third party contributor(s) to provide 5% of the grant you are applying for.
    Main Grants
    You can apply for between £5,000 and £50,000.
    You will need to find a third party contributor(s) to provide 10% of the grant you are applying for.
    You can apply for up to £50,000.
    You will need to find a third party contributor(s) to provide 10% of the grant you are applying for.

    A funding zone is anywhere within a three mile radius of a qualifying SITA UK waste processing location.
    Enhancing Communities Programme offers two funds:
    Grants of up to £60,000 are available to not-for-profit organisations whose community improvement project has an overall cost of no more than £250,000. Grants are available in 90 funding zones in England, Scotland and Wales.

    Application deadline
    Application deadline Notification of decision by

    10am on 25th July 2011 25th November 2011
    10am on 28th November 2011 30th March 2012
    10am on 19th March 2012 20th July 2012
    10am on 23rd July 2012 23rd November 2012

    Fast Track Fund
    Our Fast Track Fund provides grants of up to £20,000, available to not-for-profit organisations with a community improvement project that has an overall cost of no more than £40,000.

    Applicants will find out whether their application has been successful within 60 days of the application deadline.

    We can support projects in any of 90 funding zones around qualifying waste processing sites owned by our donor, SITA UK.

    To see if your project site is in one of our funding zones please visit our postcode checker.
    There are 6 funding rounds each calendar year, forthcoming dates are as follows:
    Application deadline : Notification of decision by:
    10am on 22nd August 2011 21st October 2011
    10am on 21st October 2011 21st December 2011
    10am on 3rd January 2012 28th February 2012
    10am on 20th February 2012 19th April 2012
    10am on 16th April 2012 15th June 2012
    10am on 18th June 2012 17th August 2012
    10am on 19th October 2012 19th December 2012

    FIT ( feed in tariff)
    Government grant funding ended on 3rd February 2010 for electricity generating products, including solar PV. The grants were replaced by Feed In Tariffs (FITs) on 1st April 2010. This is also known as the Clean Energy Cash-Back Scheme.

    Under the Feed in Tariff (FITs) scheme, anyone generating their own electricity from Solar PV panels will receive payments for every Kilowatt produced for a period of 25 years after installation. Read more about Feed in Tariffs.

    Feed in Tariffs are paid by the energy companies for all units of electricity generated by a Solar PV system. A small payment is also available for any surplus electricity fed back into the grid; most energy companies will assume that this is 50%.

    Small-scale (domestic) systems * Generation Tariff Level (p/kWh)
    System Size From 1st Apr 2011 – 31st Mar 2012

    Up to 4 kWp (new property) 37.8
    Up to 4 kWp (existing property) 43.3
    Over 4 kWp up to 10 kWp 37.8

    Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
    Full details of the scheme have not yet been released ahead of the October 2012 launch. However, it is highly likely that RHIs will only be available to homeowners in England, Scotland and Wales. Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation should also be installed, if the property is suitable.

    A grant of £300 is available for domestic customers from 1st August 2011. This is known as the RHI Premium Payment which is intended to bridge the gap until the full Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is launched in October 2012.
    The Renewable Heat Incentive Premium Payment is available from 1st August 2011 to 31st March 2012. A total of £15m is available with £3m of this being set aside for private landlords. The grant will also be reviewed once £10m has been spent.
    £300 RHI Premium Payment
    • Will bridge the gap until domestic RHIs launched
    • Total of £15m grant funding available
    • Support for approximately 25,000 installations
    • Available from 1st August 2011
    • Solar grants must be claimed by 31st March 2012
    • Scheme will gather performance data

    How do I claim the RHI Premium Payment?
    The first step is to check that your property is suitable for Solar Thermal Panels by arranging three quotes from approved installers.
    Your home must have 250mm of Loft Insulation and Cavity Wall Insulation, if it is possible to have them installed. Regardless of whether your property is suitable for Solar Thermal or whether you go ahead, it is advisable to have a well insulated home.
    Government-backed Home Insulation grants are available to cover all or most of the installation cost. Read more about Home Insulation Grants.
    RHI Premium Payment Process
    • 1) Get three quotes to check your property is suitable
    • 2) Ensure Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation are installed
    • 3) Apply for RHI Premium Payment voucher via EST
    • 4) Get Solar Thermal system professionally installed
    • 5) Return Premium Payment voucher and installer invoice
    • 6) RHI Premium Payment is transferred to bank account
    Once you know your property is suitable and your insulation is installed or arranged, you will then need to apply for your RHI Premium Payment voucher via the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
    • Providing your application is approved, the EST will issue the voucher. Once the system installed, the voucher and a copy of the installer’s invoice should be returned to the EST and the Renewable Heat Incentive Premium Payment will be made directly to your bank account.
    “People who have installed the kit under the Premium Payments will also be eligible for support through the RHI providing they meet the eligibility criteria of the full RHI scheme, as will anybody else who has installed eligible equipment since 15 July 2009”.

    The Solar Thermal Hot Water system must also be installed by approved installers using equipment that is approved for the scheme. It may also be necessary to provide regular feedback on the performance of the system and have monitoring equipment fitted.

    FunderFinder has ceased to operate. It is no longer able to provide technical support for any of its applications or respond to general enquiries.

    Green Deal
    Heralded as a “revolution” in the UK energy sector, the Green Deal is the flagship government initiative to increase the energy efficiency of British properties in the public and private sector.

    First proposed to parliament in December 2010 as the centrepiece of the Coalition Government’s Energy Bill, the Green Deal will allow private energy firms to provide domestic and commercial customers with double glazing, loft and wall insulation and other structural improvements designed to boost the energy efficiency of their buildings and reduce heating bills.

    From autumn 2012, participating energy utility companies and accredited retailers such as Tesco, B&Q and Marks & Spencer will provide customers across the UK with quality-assured work to their homes, businesses and community spaces for no upfront cost, and without loans or advance finance.

    The full cost of the measures will be recovered through instalments on the energy bill over several years, and because the Green Deal is not a personal loan or an advance payment scheme, there is no obligation to continue paying the instalments if you move house.

    Suitability for the scheme will be assessed on a simple calculation, known as the “golden rule” of the Green Deal – the predicted savings from the energy efficiency improvements to your property must equal or exceed the cost of installation.

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