Making use of ground source energy

Rehau has completed an innovative project in the coastal town of Kinsale in Ireland using tidal sea water as the energy source for a ground source heating installation.

More than 1200 metres of Rehau’s 25 x 2.3mm Raugeo PE-Xa ground source heat collector pipe has been installed within structural concrete caissons built to support a new RNLI boathouse.

Loops of Raugeo pipework have been fitted within 8 of the 18 three metre deep concrete caissons contained within a structural grid.  These will use the tidal flow of the sea as the energy source to supply a ground-source heat pump within the new station, which in turn will deliver heat for a Rehau underfloor heating system.

The innovative system was designed by specialist consulting engineers Malachy Walsh in partnership with Rehau and is one of the earliest installations in the UK and Ireland to use sea water as a below ground energy source.

Each time the tide comes in, the system will be recharged thereby ensuring a constant supply of energy to the lifeboat station.

The quality of the Raugeo PE-Xa pipework was obviously critical in its specification, since not only is it encased in concrete but this concrete is permanently exposed to sea water.  The Raugeo PE-Xa pipe’s performance has been proven in numerous similar energy pile projects across Europe and in the UK.

The ground source pipework and the Rehau underfloor heating system linked to it have been installed by Ross Technical Services in Dungarvan.  Inside the life boat station, 800m of Rehau’s PE-Xa underfloor heating pipework has been fixed onto a steel mesh fitted to the concrete slab with a wet screed.

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