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Ecoliving Blog

What Happens Now?

Mark Henderson, Founder & Director of Ecoliving reponds to the Brexit vote.

Renewable Heating Warmly Received in Scotland

Main House

8,516 homeowners and self-builders in Scotland are receiving incentive payments for their installed renewable heating system through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). These payments amount to £11M, so far, and are paid over 7 years.

2,330 non-domestic systems in Scotland installed on estates, farms and other businesses are also benefiting from the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and receiving payments over 20 years. This installed renewable heat capacity amounts to 386MW which is 3 times the output of the gas-fired CHP power station at Grangemouth.

Renewable Heat Incentive to Continue

The only warming glow amidst the Westminster government’s chilling energy policy is that the RHI looks set to continue until 2021 albeit with some changes along the way and the tariff rates set to degress over time. The RHI represents a rewarding opportunity for homeowners, self-builders, country estates and businesses to divest from fossil fuel heating in favour of renewable heating systems like biomass boilers, ground and air source heat pumps and solar thermal. In many cases, the sum of the non-domestic RHI payments well exceeds the initial capital cost of the installation.

Country Estate Exemplar

The Dumfries House Estate in Ayrshire is an estate which has benefited from the non-domestic RHI using the incentives to help fund their transition from oil to renewable heat in existing, refurbished and new buildings across the estate. In 2007, HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, personally brokered a £45M deal to secure the 2,000 acre Dumfries House Estate and its unique collection of Chippendale furniture.

Ecoliving, as one of Scotland’s longest established and most experienced renewable heat specialists, has worked on the rolling programme of heat pump and biomass installations across the estate. The company’s approach of designing the most appropriate renewable heating solution for any specific building has been well received.

HP Plant Outdoor Centre

"At Dumfries House we value the working relationship we have with Ecoliving because they can be relied on to take a renewables project from feasibility right through to commissioning, on time and on budget. Their team has a great range of experience in renewable technologies." Oliver Middlemiss, Dumfries House. 

 David Baillie ETA

Renewable heat is key to the UK meeting its 2020 EU target of 15% of energy coming from renewables and the rewards offered by the RHI represent an opportunity for property owners. Loan funding is available to cover the capital cost of installation for organisations and for homeowners there is the Home Energy Scotland Renewables Loan Scheme with interest free loans available up to 75% of the installed cost up to £10,000.

Written by Mark Henderson at 12:00

BBC turn spotlight on renewable heat at Dumfries House

BBC Scotland turn spotlight on renewable heat at Dumfries House. Interviews with Dumfries House Estate Manager, Oliver Middlemiss, Dimplex MD, Neil Stewart and Ecoliving founder, Mark Henderson.
Written by Mark Henderson at 00:00

National Museum of Flight shows the sky's the limit when it comes to renewable heat

sky's the limit


The renewable heating system currently being installed at the National Museum of Flight was designed in house, based on the specification provided. To achieve the desired result and an annual space heating demand of over 383,400 kilowatt hours (kWh), Ecoliving have installed three 75kW Dimplex SI 75 TE ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). These heat pumps source their heat from 35 borehole collectors and having raised the temperature through the refrigeration cycle, hot water is stored in a 1000 litre buffer tank and distributed to the hangars via 424m of highly insulated district heating pipework connecting to over 4,000m2 of underfloor heating throughout both hangars.

Underfloor Heating Distribution System

The first stage of installing the underfloor heating distribution system is putting the gas protective membrane in place. Then, 16,000m of underfloor heating pipework is applied between two layers of reinforcing mesh and is then fastened using wire ties. The concrete floor was then poured in sections and left to dry before being polished. The advantage of underfloor heating with a concrete slab floor in commercial spaces, is that it is more energy efficient in the long term. Once heated to the desired temperature, it requires very little energy to maintain the temperature as it is a radiant heat emitter meaning it is more efficient than conventional radiators.  

  UFH1  UFH2              UFH3  UFH4

Bore Hole Installation and District Heating Network

In order to generate sufficient heat to supply both hangars, 35 vertical boreholes have been drilled to depths of 70-180m – more than originally designed.  Drilling on this particular site presented its’ challenges. This was more complex than originally anticipated, as the initial site investigation suggested a competent rock head would be found at around 15m. This was the case, however there were four different geological substrates identified below this point within the borehole field; red stone, grey stone, ash and a soft volcanic band.

The differing substrates did not directly upset the drilling, but it caused the borehole to lose rigidity easily once the drilling apparatus was removed. The soft volcanic rock especially, would fold in on itself, causing the borehole to back-fill making it very difficult to insert fragile ground collectors to the required depth. This could happen a number of times before successful insertion of the collector pipework, therefore custom-designed collector weights were sourced to assist the collector installation. Each weight was specially manufactured, 1.5m long and 60Kg in weight. These were attached to the bottom end of the collectors, helping to pull them down through any crumbled substrate to the required depth.


BH1    BH3



In the end, this was very effective at overcoming the challenging substrate. However, some boreholes were unable to meet the required depth, meaning less heat is able to be retrieved from these boreholes. This resulted in a redesign of the borehole field and a new total of 35 boreholes, varying from 70-180m in depth, 5 more than originally planned. 

Once all the boreholes have been drilled and the collectors have been inserted correctly, flow and return pipes from the borehole collector pipes are run in trenches 1m deep and come together at central manifolds before passing into the plant room.

Over 424m of highly insulated district heating pipework delivers the usable heat from the heat pumps in the plant room to the hangars as well as returning the cool flow to be reheated. 





Written by Emma Dunsmuir at 15:30

Ecoliving Wins Ground Source Heat Pump Contract At The National Museum Of Flight

Ecoliving wins Ground Source Heat Pump contract at the National Museum of Flight
Written by Emma Dunsmuir at 15:55
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Ecoliving is a specialist provider and award winner of micro-renewable energy solutions - heat pumps, biomass boilers, combined heat and power (CHP), underfloor heating, solar and wood burning stoves. We also offer service, repair and maintenance.

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