Carbon Zero Consulting has worked with Ebtech Energy Systems to design, install and commission the UK’s largest river source heat pump at Hall Hunter Partnership, one of the UK’s leading soft fruit growers. The heated growing facility has been developed to provide continuity of supply to their major customer, M&S. The 8.8MW heat pump system, provides heating to strawberry crops allowing the site to produce fruit several weeks earlier than was previously achievable.
The design process began with Carbon Zero assessing the viability of the nearby River Lodden, a tributary of the Thames, as a reliable year-round energy source, which would ensure peak load heating during the coldest winter days. An outfall from Wargrave wastewater treatment works into the Loddon was also utilised to augment abstracted water temperature.
After completion of all regulatory requirements for abstraction and discharge by Carbon Zero, work on the heat pump plantroom, 640ls river pump station and 160km of heat distribution pipe began in July 2020and the system was commissioned only five months later in December. In the first 2 months, the heat pumps provided 5,000MWh of renewable heat, despite running through some of the coldest temperatures recorded in the last decade. This was hailed by the customer as a great success.
Managing Partner, Harry Hall, puts a keen emphasis on ethical production practices and care for the environment, so minimising carbon emissions was of paramount importance. Over the next 20 years the plant will save 44,000T of carbon when compared to gas heating.