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UK: Seal pups at a wildlife sanctuary in the Shetland Islands are now enjoying an improved environment thanks to a Panasonic heat pump system.

Since 1987, the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary has been looking after the wildlife residents of the Shetlands, providing sanctuary to care for sick, injured, or abandoned seals and otters.

A crucial element of caring for the seals in the sanctuary is to keep them warm as they recover, which posed a challenge, as the seal unit was an uninsulated building that dated back to the mid-19th century, which made it more vulnerable to the colder climate in the northernmost region of the UK.

Whilst the building already had underfloor heating installed, the air temperature was being managed with inefficient plug-in heaters, which could not provide the stable air temperature required for the seals.

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary owner Jan Bevington (left) with Luke
Luke Fillingham and Sean Fillingham (right) of Heatsave Shetland

Contractor Heatsave Shetland Ltd was asked to provide an effective and energy-efficient heating solution to create a fully climate-controlled area where the wild lodgers could be comfortable whilst in recovery. A major challenge arose around the thick walls that would need to be drilled through, so ease of installation for the units was crucial to ensure the process went as smoothly as possible.

A Panasonic 9kW R32 PACi Standard heat pump with a wall-mounted indoor unit was selected for the task to bring an easy to control and comfortable climate to the centre. 

“When we approached the project, we immediately knew, with a building of this type, we needed an efficient air-to-air heat pump solution. Once installed, the unit’s warmth started kicking in straight away and within ten minutes the area felt more comfortable,” said Sean Fillingham of Heatsave Shetland.

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