• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Progressive agricultural business sets the wheat from the chaff with innovative heat/chill system

Substantial heat pump installation installed to dry 30,000 tonnes of grain

Despite a pandemic causing havoc the length and breadth of the country, Calibrate Energy Engineering have successfully managed to install one of the largest ground source heat pumps (GSHP) in the country for a forward-thinking agricultural client, WL Douglas & Sons (based at West Ancroft Farm) in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

To showcase this substantial system, they are inviting rural and agri-businesses and other interested parties for an Open Day on 24th June so they can see first-hand the difference this technology can make.  Calibrate have been designing, installing and maintaining commercial heat/chill systems for over 17 years and have identified a real need for their technology in high energy-use industries such as agriculture, food and drink processing, chemicals and waste management.

The installation of the latest 6.2mW GSHP came about due to the success a previous Calibrate 1mW system installed 3 years previously.  The original was the first-of-its-kind to provide simultaneous heating and chilling and has now been joined by a further upgrade with capacity to dry one of the largest tonnages of grain of any GSHP in the UK.

The results speak for themselves with the new system delivering 400% efficiency for heating at 45°C, 325% for chilling at 1°c and a total energy efficiency of 725%.  To put it into perspective, the new pump alone has capacity to heat 775 4 bed houses. The system enables reduced fossil fuel usage and derives a high 20-year RHI tariff (the Government’s rebate programme for renewable technologies).

Managing Director for Calibrate, Gary Matthews, explains the background to this successful project:

“Our customer, Ian Douglas, approached Calibrate in 2018 to look at ways they could speed up and streamline the grain drying and cooling process and also reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Following an in-depth study, it was agreed that Calibrate’s 1mW heat pump heat/chill system was the perfect fit for their 40t/hr continuous flow grain drying system.

“Fast forward 3 years and our client has now added the impressive 6.2mW to the original creating over 7mW capacity, this is a significant sized heat pump with 60km of below ground pipe work!”

Commenting on the two Calibrate installations, Mr Douglas said:

“When we made the decision to invest in heat pump technology, we looked at various companies who offered this service, we narrowed these down to Calibrate due to their professional approach and because they were able to carry out the full bespoke design, installation and also support the system with a comprehensive long term maintenance agreement.”

Calibrate’s cloud-based software remotely manages the full process, enabling the client to have a ‘hands off’ approach as well as allowing real time RHI tariff generation and power consumption readings, all visible from a smart device.  All this comes with the further benefit of little or no mechanical ventilation within the storage sheds afterwards, and more importantly peace of mind that the valuable product is stored and maintained correctly.

Gary Matthews concludes: “We are very much focussed on our clients securing a more sustainable future for their business as well as the environment.  Our aim is to create a system around the needs of the business, from design, through the full installation process and long term through our 20-year maintenance service. “

Having mitigated against these uncertain times to secure the road ahead, WL Douglas and Sons continues to benefit from a growing business and increased profits, whilst knowing they have chosen a renewable solution to dry and condition their produce.

Image taken from a previous open day at West Ancroft, showing the Douglas Brothers (Ian Douglas quoted 2nd from right.)