My wish for 2014 is for the Sheffield City Region to become the most economically successful and sustainable place to live in the UK. A region that is forward-looking, led by innovation and improves the opportunities and well-being of everyone.
Sustainability is not just about re-cycling and saving energy, it is also about creating products and services that help us to reduce carbon and energy needs. Great examples of this are being developed and tested by businesses and the universities at the Advanced Manufacturing Park and elsewhere in the region. The demand for goods and services that promote sustainability is growing faster than demand in other sectors and we need to capitalize on this to promote growth and jobs.
A sustainable economy also raises the quality of people’s lives by improving health and well-being and creating opportunities that lead to fulfillment in education, work and in personal lives.
As well as running Green Directions, I am a member of the Sheffield City Region (UK) Low Carbon Sector Group. Together with partners, I am developing a major infra-structure proposal; FutureZone 20:50.
FutureZone 20:50 is a proposal for an innovation park, close to the Advanced Manufacturing Park www.attheamp.com/ , showcasing both a vision for living and working sustainably in the future and our region’s innovation and manufacturing excellence. It would include:
A vibrant interactive low carbon and innovation visitor attraction
a conference and exhibition centre
pavilions owned and run by companies highlighting their innovations and commitment to sustainability
a centre to showcase the outcomes of universities research and development programmes
a growth hub providing support for businesses to enter supply chains and capitalise on business opportunities ; for example, through the Catapult Centres
a low carbon retail zone
a low carbon transport hub including a cycle park
FutureZone 20:50 is about the future not the past. It is about inspiring and supporting sustainable growth for the economic and social benefit of people and communities.
My partners in the project are MMEK and Oliver Schutte. You might like to have a look at their websites to see examples of their inspiring work:
MMEK – a Dutch design company who have expertise in the creation of visitor attractions. http://mmek.nl/
Oliver Schutte – a Costa Rica based architect with experience in pan-European sustainability projects http://www.a-01.net/
Our electricity consumption has been excessive from when the heat pumps were commissioned
Our annual electricity consumption is well over double the projection at time of purchase from Eco Heat Pumps
The excessive electricity consumption is clearly the responsibility of Eco Heat Pumps and Danfoss because of faults in specification and performance
We have incurred substantial losses through excessive electricity bills as a result of the faults
Danfoss claim that we are not entitled to any reparation as the guarantee period has expired yet the faults were reported within weeks of installation.
Danfoss have benefitted from buying a business with a presence in the heat pump market. This also means that they have a responsibility to meet the contractual obligations of the company that they took over.
The heat pumps have been very unreliable. We have had to repair them on many occasions at high cost. We recently had a compressor replaced at a cost of £1,608
Danfoss’ approach discredits the industry as a whole. Customers are entitled to receive a service that delivers what it promises.
Data (readings taken 14/7/13)
Thermia Diplomat 10 – fully operational since February 2006
Heat Pump hours – 27635 @ Output capacity of 9.54 @ COP of 4.6-3.3
Add Heat 1 hours – 6047 @ 3kwh
Add Heat 2 hours – 1242 @ 1.5 kwh
Warm Water hours – 7269
Thermia Diplomat 8 – fully operational since January 2008
Heat Pump hours – 27591 @ Output capacity of 8.13 @ COP of 4.6-3.4
Add Heat 1 hours – 6133 @ 3kwh
Add Heat 2 hours – 2959 @ 1.5kwh
Warm Water hours – 1317
Electricity Use – kwh/annum
Eco Heat Pumps projected electricity use for the heat pumps 11,166 kwh per annum
This data does not fully represent consumption because we have 2 wind turbines and a solar power array. Prior to 2011 we had 1 turbine – 6kw Proven – which generates about 14,000 kwh per year. This suggests that without the renewables contribution we would be consuming around 40,000 kwh per year. Eco Heat Pumps said that the system should cost about £670 per year to run @ 6p per kwh. On this basis we should be consuming 11,166 kwh per year on heating. Allowing a generous 6,000 kwh per annum for other electricity costs, we are clearly consuming well over double what we should be consuming.
September 2004 – quotes sought for heat pumps from various suppliers. Architects plans for renovation project supplied
Chose Eco Heat Pumps mostly because we chose to support a local business
20/10/04 – Quotation received based on Eco Heat Pumps calculation of floor area of 450 square metres
15/3/05 Final quotation received estimating running costs of system @ £670 per year based on electricity cost of 6p/kwh
Eco Heat Pumps provide specification for installation and approve our plan to self-install under guidance. Install to be overseen and commissioned by their engineers (Alan Donald – based in Scotland)
Summer 2005 – Ground loops installed to a better than specified standard. Greater separation of individually dug trenches and slightly deeper than specified – 1.25 metres instead of 0.8 metres.
Plumbing and electrical installation inspected by Eco Heat Pump engineers
8/2/06 – Heat pump system tested, passed and commissioned
Underfloor heating system tested and commissioned by Eco Hometec – at the time a partner organisation of Eco Heat Pumps
17/4/06 – wrote to Eco Heat Pumps because of concerns about electricity useage mostly owing to considerable use of Add Heat functions
I have weekly data from the heat pumps stretching back almost to the time of installation.
24/4/06 – reply received from Eco Heat Pumps saying that the poor performance was due to an incomplete renovation and the need for the building to dry out.
7/1/08 – Letter to Eco Heat Pumps again complaining about under performance.
November 2008 – letter to Eco Heat Pumps/Danfoss again expressing concern about performance. Data provided.
6/11/08 – Visit by Stephen Andrews and Mike Walsh from Danfoss. A very unprofessional visit as documented in a letter sent to Danfoss after the visit. Cursory inspection of the heat pumps with rude behaviour. No data recorded or analysed in anything but a superficial way during the visit. No historical data asked for. The exercise was an attempt to bully me into submission. The data provided in this submission shows how
23/2/09 – Letter to Danfoss again expressing concerns about performance. This followed a visit from a Danfoss engineer Lee who was shocked by our energy consumption. He identified a particular issue about pipe sizing near to the heat pump units.
3/4/09 – Letter from Stephen Andrews at Danfoss suggesting that we should bear the cost of replacing the pipe work identified by Lee as being too small – 28mm instead of 40mm. (The pipe sizing had been guided by the Eco Heat Pump engineers.)
9/5/09 – Reply to Stephen Andrews at Danfoss which challenges the accuracy of his statements in the letter of 3/4/09 e.g. that he inspected the heat pump data during his visit. It also challenges his unprofessional and dishonest behaviour.
11/5/09 – Receive email from Simon Pepper at Danfoss saying that they no longer were prepared to offer heat pump service beyond the guarantee period having moved to a ‘supply only business model’
22/6/09 – Letter from Stephen Andrews rejecting my arguments and disowning the problem.
26/6/09 – Reply to Stephen Andrews cataloguing multiple failure in performance by both Eco Heat Pumps and Danfoss management and staff
16/7/09 – Stephen Andrews agrees to change the pipe work at Danfoss expense without accepting liability for failures
19/7/09 – I signed an agreement that we would accept that the fitting of the new pipework would end the issue about the underperformance of the brine circuit.
20/7/09 – confirmed in a letter that we accepted the agreement provided that the remedial work was effective
Spring 2009 – Danfoss replace some pipework at their expense – some metrics improve following this work but the core issue of excessive electricity consumption remains.
15/4/13 – Spreadsheet sent to Stephen Bancroft – now Technical Manager at Danfoss – with all our heatpump data for several years – includes the overall hours in use and the add heat hours.
19/4/13 – Stephen Bancroft visits – spends about 2 hours on site discussing issues and looking at metrics
20/5/13 – Stephen Bancroft sends a report to us which confirms underperformance and makes action recommendations. In the accompanying email he says ‘Initially I think we need to get the buffer installed and monitor internal temps and run hours.’
4/6/13 – letter from Stephen Bancroft saying that Danfoss can only offer advice as the products are beyond the guarantee period. It also says that prior to installation a SAP report should have taken place on the building and that the system was not designed well.
We identified the issues and complained within 2 months of the installation of the system. The complaint stems from then which means that the guarantee is valid. Eco Heat Pumps were responsible for the oversight of the project and at no time proposed a SAP report. They also designed the system. Danfoss is now responsible for their work.
The building has a floor area of approximately 510 square metres – therefore the pumps have been undersized
Over the past 8 years much time and money has been wasted in trying to get the heat pumps to perform properly
10 acres of land in our spectacular location gives us so much scope for setting up enjoyable corporate events. We are able to put marquees up, run activities such as archery, give tours of the farm and our green technologies and show people round our colourful eco-friendly home.
Another great pleasure is to use our friends in the local community to provide services; for example, Bradfield Brewery (supplies beer and sometimes a full bar), Sheffield Bouncy Castle Hire and Our Cow Molly ice cream. We are also lucky to have helpful neighbours such as Clive Quarmby and Alan Russell who cut and bale our hay, leaving space in the fields so set up our events.
Here are some recent comments.
“Really nice place – Stunning views.”
“The food was really nice – the hog was delicious! I am still full!!!”
“All in all it was great! Mark and the family were very friendly and you felt welcome there.”
At Green Directions we are committed to working sustainably and to continuously improving our sustainability practices. We see this as a moral issue in order to preserve and protect the earth’s precious natural infrastructure.
We comply with the requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice
We continuously seek to improve our environmental and social performance
We reduce pollution, emissions and waste
We reduce the use of energy, water and other resources
We raise awareness of green issues with our visitors and encourage them to take action themselves
We expect our suppliers and contractors to meet or aspire to the environmental standards promoted by the Green Tourism Business Scheme (we change suppliers if we do not see progress towards these standards)
We try to be advocates for sustainable practices within our local community
We have minimised our risks associated with environmental and social issues
We have joined the Green Tourism Business Scheme as an indicator of our sustainable practices