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    Norwich Pilot Site Update

    Posted February 8, 2022

    Picture of the Norwich Site showing building from above

    Places for People Group

    The Norwich pilot site is one of four pilot investments taking place as part of the EU funded SHIFFT project, which aims to demonstrate the benefits of low carbon heating systems. The site, owned by Places for People, is a domestic refuge centre in the Norwich area of South East England. The development was constructed in 2007 and is made up of 12 flats and communal areas over two floors.

    The space heating is currently provided by two ground source heat pumps, which are distributing heat throughout the site using underfloor heating.  Electric convection heaters are also in place in the first-floor flats to help customers keep warm. A 14kWh air source heat pump, which heats three large hot water cylinders, provides hot water to customers. Both the ground and air source heat pumps have historically been problematic and often do not work to their full capacity or have stopped working completely. During breakdowns heating is provided by immersion heaters within the system. These are extremely expensive to run and significantly increase carbon emissions.

    Following extensive analysis of the site and consultation with stakeholders, a solution has been developed which focuses on replacing or repairing the existing heat pumps and installing solar PV to help further minimise carbon emissions produced by the site. The new heat pumps will be installed outside so that customers have no interruption to their supply whilst it is installed. Sunamp, a thermal battery technology, will also be fitted to the system. Sunamp is able to store electrical energy that can be released as heat for use in the hot water system. An extensive monitoring package will also be installed alongside the systems to help identify and repair issues more easily for maintenance and repair teams.

    Work has now been ongoing on site for a few months, with the installation of the solar PV practically complete. Our metering and monitoring contractors are working on site to fit the necessary hardware for the new systems. The final design queries for the external energy centre are being addressed, and contractors have been working to understand how best to approach the installation.