Heat Pump Today’s Publishing Editor, Juliet Loiselle, visited Finn Geotherm, one of East Anglia’s leading suppliers and installers of ground and air source heat pump systems for domestic, commercial and industrial customers.
Norfolk-based Finn Geotherm celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. The company was originally set up in 2006 by David Alston to specify and install ground source heat pumps made by Lämpöässä in Finland. David is half-Finnish himself and so, with a degree in engineering, was well placed to launch the company.
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David was joined in 2009 by commercial director Guy Ransom who, with a background in corporate finance, helped to grow Finn Geotherm to where it is today (Guy actually had Finn Geotherm install a system in his house and saw so much potential in the company and the technology that he joined them!)
In the past 10 years, the company has gone from three employees completing 10kW installations to 20 staff today and 360kW installations for the likes of RAGT Seeds in Saffron Walden. Finn Geotherm remains the only approved UK installer of Lämpöässä ground source systems and is one of a handful of expert installers of Dimplex air source systems. The company solely installs heat pumps – it made the strategic decision not to diversify into solar, biomass etc.
Finn Geotherm feels the growth to date is just the beginning, with the full potential of renewable heating set to be realised in the coming years as consumers become increasingly aware of the opportunities and benefits the system offers. This will be bolstered by the growing volatility of fossil fuels and their security of supply, not to mention proposed government targets to deliver 15% of energy from renewable sources.
The success and growth of the company is mostly attributed to the belief and passion of the team. They care about their customers, many installations face challenges and solving problems and providing solutions which will create energy savings for them, is a big driver for the team.
Some of the qualifications held by David and Simon:
David Alston - Technical Director
Degree in Engineering, City & Guilds 2323 Electrical Engineering, City & Guilds F Gas and ODS Cat I 500/5730/3. Passive House Design, WRAS, WREG Reg 1999, BPEC Heat Pump Installer, BPEC DHW, BPEC Energy Efficiency, APHC competent persons scheme 12346515-001, Lampoassa & Dimplex "Expert" training.
Simon Osbourne - Installations Manager
City & Guilds Advanced Cert in plumbing, boosted cold water, hot water supply, sanitation and drainage, gas supply and systems, oil supply and systems, electrical controls for mechanical engineering. City & Guilds advanced cert in Process Systems. BPEC DHW. CITB Energy efficiency Part L. LCL Level 3 installation and maintenance of heat pump systems. APHC competent person’s scheme. Lampoassa and Dimplex "Expert" training.
Awards & Accolades
In addition to winning several awards, they are now Constructionline accredited. Constructionline is a resource for public and private organisations, such as health trusts, housing associations and private companies, looking for high quality suppliers and contractors. In order to qualify under the Constructionline scheme, contractors must complete rigorous health and safety compliance and provide details of its business competence. The accreditation provides reassurance for public and private organisations that they are dealing with the best suppliers in the industry.
Finn Geotherm was also recently awarded Small Business of the Year – eastern region in the Chamber of Commerce Awards
Finn Geotherm won two categories at the National ACR & Heat Pump Awards, held at the Town Hall, Birmingham earlier this year:
Domestic Ground Source
The installation included ground source heating for a picturesque 18th Century tower windmill used as a family home. The brief was to provide low maintenance heating and hot water for the whole house, including a mill bedroom on the fifth floor.
In order to provide the best possible solution for the customer, Finn Geotherm undertook a very detailed heat loss survey to ensure the heat pump output and radiators were sufficient to meet the required temperatures throughout the year.
Non-Domestic Ground Source Installation
RAGT’s initial brief was to reduce the heating costs for its six glasshouses, which are used for developing new crops. LPG had previously been used to heat the glasshouses which, with a U value of around six, meant the boiler was in constant use in winter, leading to issues with fuel supply and heat distribution as the system couldn’t keep up with the heat being generated. RAGT needed a new system to work with its existing grow tubes.
Finn Geotherm installed three Lämpöässä T120 ground source heat pumps linked to three Akvanti 2400litre thermal stores with a network of 21,000metres of collector loop. Controlled using Trend building management, the 350kW ground source heat pump totally replaces RAGT’s previous LPG system.
For further information visit: www.finn-geotherm.co.uk and www.acrheatpumpawards.uk