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Creating an alternative showcase

UK: A relocation to new premises by UK Alternative Energy Ltd has enabled the Lincoln-based renewable energy specialist to incorporate heat pumps, solar PV and battery storage solutions.

Lincolnshire’s longest-serving MCS-accredited energy specialist, Alternative Energy moved to a larger space on the Westminster Industrial Estate in North Hykeham at the end of last year.

Overhauling the premises, UK Alternative Energy took the opportunity to design its facility with its clients in mind, to provide them with the rare opportunity to experience fully working systems and controls.

To this end the company utilised Panasonic heat pumps, 11kW of solar PV, a Tesla Powerwall 2 storage battery, and two EV chargers.

Panasonic’s Aquarea J Series (9kW) and PACi NX series (12.5kW) were supplied by specialist renewables distributor, Secon.

Transforming the former warehouse, UK Alternative Energy designed the unit with a mix of open communal spaces and private offices. A mezzanine floor was built to provide additional office space, and the entrance was designed with a large glass atrium, adding a warm and welcoming contemporary feel.

To best showcase the technology on offer, the entire plant room, including the hot water storage cylinder, can be seen within the main atrium, and a Perspex floor was installed to showcase three different types of fully working underfloor heating. This exposed pipework gives customers an insight into a live system and its controls.

Having had a long-standing relationship with Panasonic, Dan Cadd, installations manager at UK Alternative Energy, said: “It made complete sense for us to practice what we preach, because we know and trust Panasonic, within our organisation. Installing the Panasonic Aquarea J series air-to-water heat pump and Panasonic PACi NX series within our own offices has also meant we have a ready-made case study where customers can see the solution in action.”

UK Alternative Energy specified a Panasonic air-to-air solution to heat the ample atrium entrance space. The PACi system was installed with adaptive ducted units, with the ventilation system being left exposed. The team also opted to use the PACi split system as the heating and cooling solution for the larger office spaces, not wanting to compromise on losing wall space to fit radiators.

“We found utilising the two systems (Aquarea and PACi) across the building gave us the best of both worlds. We have perfect heat and hot water provided across the whole building. Plus, the PACi NX system installed in the atrium has the extra benefit of heating and cooling the space, which will be perfect in the summer months when the sun hits the glass,” said Dan Cadd.

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