A huge stone built barn situated near Holmfirth in a lovely countryside full of steep slopes and wooded defiles, was built in 1683 to store grain and hay and, more importantly, to shelter livestock from the harsh Peak District winters. Like so many others of its kind it now shelters people instead of cattle having been converted in 1997 into seven dwellings of various sizes. One of the largest, taking up one end of the barn, has been made into a beautiful and spacious home with only one major problem, the cost of heating. An oil-fired boiler of traditional design had been installed at the time of conversion and was reasonably effective but, to judge from exorbitant fuel bills, anything but energy efficient. The last straw came when the owner saw the price of heating oil jump from 42p to 72p per litre over the space of only eight weeks. He decided enough was enough and started to look for alternative ways to provide heat for his radiator driven central heating system and hot water for all purposes including one general bathroom and three others en suite.
He called in Warmaway of Dewsbury, expert in renewable energy methods and a registered NIBE VIP installer, who suggested an air sourced heating system that would slash fuel costs, cut carbon emissions to an absolute minimum and be comparatively cheap to install into the bargain. Being MCS registered, Warmaway were able to access Government funded grants and was therefore able to design a system, readily accepted by the customer, that is affordable and ecologically sound as well as extremely fuel efficient. It consists of two NIBE F2015 Heat Pumps situated in the yard outside the back door of the barn and linked to a VPA Accumulator Tank with a UKV200 Buffer vessel to offer greater hot water capacity.
The heat pumps generate energy from the outside air utilising a heat exchange process that squeezes the last drop of energy from the atmosphere thanks to new super efficient scroll compressors that will operate effectively even at temperatures down to the lowest ever recorded in the UK. Proof of the installation’s efficiency is that although the original oil-fired boiler was retained as a back up system, it was never needed in this last exceptionally cold winter. The generated energy is passed from the heat pumps into the accumulator tank and buffer, both using the latest in insulation techniques to ensure that hard earned energy is not wasted before being circulated to heat both water and home.
The owner of this beautiful Peak District barn conversion is delighted with his new NIBE renewable energy system, basking in the glow of satisfaction that comes from being as ‘green’ as the grass that grows around him. An even greater sense of satisfaction comes from paying fuel bills that are affordable once more thanks to heating that is conjured out of thin air.