Skanska UK is entering the final stages of installing an innovative 5.4MW ground-source cooling system for a new hospital in Mansfield after approval to proceed with the installation of a renewable ground-source heat pump system at Kings Mill Hospital was granted.
The system can also provide supplementary low grade heating to the gas fired boiler installation when the cooling demand is low. Geothermal International, a Coventry based market-leading company in this field, have been employed by Skanska as partners to develop and deliver the scheme.
The ground-sourced cooling and heating technology will reduce carbon emissions as well as result in significant running cost savings and will set a benchmark for the NHS, changing the way hospitals are cooled and heated in the future.
The scheme is not only a landmark installation for the NHS but also for Skanska and Geothermal; it will be the largest geothermal lake loop installed in Europe.
The system, which has been used to great effect in America and widely adopted in northern Europe, will use a network of heat exchangers submerged in the neighbouring Kings Mill Reservoir. The heat exchangers are connected via pipes to the hospital where heat pumps extract or reject heat from the reservoir to provide either cooling or heating to the new hospital development.
When the water flows back through the heat exchanger plates in the reservoir the temperature imbalance is partly restored by the reservoir without contamination because the system is a closed loop system and no reservoir water is used directly.
This heat exchange is much more efficient than other available renewable energy technology and conventional gas, oil or bio-fuel heating.
For every 1kw of energy used, 4 to 7kw are produced by the system, which means that not only are CO2 savings anticipated compared to more traditional systems, but energy bills will also be significantly reduced for the NHS Trust. The life expectancy of the heat pumps will also far exceed that of a traditional plant.
The project design teams consulted extensively with the local council and Friends of Kings Mill Reservoir – a local preservation group – to assure them the environmental impact of the system would be extremely low, and in some cases benefit the ecology of the body of water.
Gerry McNabb of Skanska UK, said: “The technology that Skanska and Geothermal International offers makes sense to homeowners and businesses, especially with government emission reduction and renewable energy targets on the horizon.
“Together we are able to offer a cooling and heating system that is both ecologically sound and cost-effective.
“We have no doubt the hospital will reap the full range of benefits from this ground source heat pump system.”
Patrick Sherriff, Sales & Marketing Director of Geothermal International, said: “The possibilities this technology offers are getting more and more attention and we are delighted to be involved with a project of this size.
“Renewable ground source heat pump systems have been used very successfully throughout Europe and North America for decades and now the UK and Ireland are sitting up and taking notice.
“We are therefore pleased to be working with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Skanska on such a ground breaking project to provide a truly valuable, cost effective and efficient service to the people this hospital will serve which will have measurable benefits.”
Geothermal International have worked with Skanska UK on numerous projects and become strategic partners in geothermal operations.
The two companies have jointly pioneered cost effective methods for installing geothermal pipes within energy piles and have a number of patented components and techniques involved in the process.