London, 21 July 2014
Geoscart™ a leading thermal energy management specialist, has secured long-term financing to roll out its patented heat exchange technology to a greater number of commercial clients worldwide.
In one of its first projects, Geoscart™ will work in the UK with Sainsbury’s and utility company British Gas to provide a comprehensive ground-source heating installation and maintenance programme to reduce energy costs across up to 100 stores, starting with 15 stores this year.
Macquarie Lending has provided a financing agreement to enable UK retailers to take up Geoscart™ technology without having to fund the initial capital outlay.
British Gas will provide a maintenance package over the operational life of the system.
Geoscart™ reduces two of the largest energy uses in commercial properties by integrating cooling or refrigeration systems with ground-source heating. It is a cost-effective, highly sustainable technology designed to cut total energy consumption typically by more than thirty per cent. End users also benefit from minimal site disruption during the brief installation period, even in built-up areas. In addition, Geoscart™ users qualify for government green subsidies such as the UK Renewable Heat Incentive.
It is already widely utilised by Sainsbury’s in the UK with 40 MW installed or under contract. Geoscart™ already has a healthy pipeline with the planned installation of a further 100+MW of its systems to users in different sectors over the next three to four years: the decentralised renewable energy equivalent of a gas-fired power plant.
Grahame Newton, CEO of Geoscart™, said: “This marks the next stage in Geoscart’s™ growth. We developed the baseline technology from the oil and gas sector and have successfully applied it to the retail-consumer space. We are looking forward to rolling out the technology to a wider audience with the help of our operational partners.”
Nikolaus Woloszczuk, Co-Head Macquarie Lending Europe, said: “This is an exciting development in the area of distributed and renewable energy finance. We are pleased to support the upscaling of emerging technologies that allow users to lower energy bills and minimise carbon emissions on a mass scale.”
Gab Barbaro, Managing Director of British Gas Business Services, said: “Energy can be a costly expense for businesses using a large amount of cooling and refrigeration equipment. Providing customers of Geoscart™ technology with a comprehensive maintenance plan is one of many services we provide to help businesses effectively guarantee reduction in their energy use. Our Energy Performance Contracting business guarantees energy consumption reduction for many businesses through similar projects.”
Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability, Engineering & Energy at Sainsbury’s said: “We’re delighted to be leading the way on this groundbreaking technology – helping to reduce energy use and carbon. I hope that with Geoscart™ s help we’ll now see more retailers following suit.”
A series of angled borehole heat exchangers is installed using “directional drilling” techniques adapted from the oil & gas industry. Each has an outer-casing made of steel, embedded in the borehole with thermally-enhanced cement or “grout”, and an inner-tube made of thermally insulative plastic suspended inside. The design enables commercial-scale ground-source heat exchange with much less surface land use than traditional methods.
In operation, thermal energy is carried by a vegetable-based-glycol and water fluid through the pipework and boreholes in a “closed-loop”. The fluid flows down the inner tube to the base of each borehole, then returns back to the surface in the gap between the inner tube and outer casing, naturally exchanging thermal energy with the surrounding rock. As a sealed closed-loop system, this process has no environmental impact on the ground, only heat exchange under natural principles.
Geo-exchange works due to the stable year-round temperatures below ground, together with the immense thermal capacity of subsurface rock. For cooling, heated system fluid (carrying rejected heat from refrigeration) is pumped down the inner-tube of a borehole before returning to surface, naturally depositing excess heat to the cooler surrounding rock en route. Likewise, for heating, cooled fluid (after extracting thermal energy for heating) is pumped into the borehole and collects heat from the warmer rock while passing through the borehole heat exchangers. This energy is then “bumped up” to desired temperatures for store heating using dedicated high efficiency heat pumps.
Within the Geoscart™ plant room (or energy centre) is a sophisticated control system which allows constant monitoring and management of thermal energy flows between the various thermal demands in the building and the borehole heat exchangers. This also enables efficient capture of waste heat from store cooling or refrigeration systems, and either “recycles” it directly for store heating or sends any excess to the boreholes for storage until required.
Under its unique “utility contracting” model, the full cost of original installation is covered in exchange for long-term supply contracts (15+ years). The contracts comprise a fixed “infrastructure charge” which guarantees system operability, and a variable “performance-based fee” which incentivises both parties to continually improve on energy performance targets.
British Gas is the one of the UK's leading energy suppliers, and serves around 10 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to one million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions high quality Home Services expertise. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.