Iconic Welsh village features REHAU RAUTHERMEX pipework

REHAU’s RAUTHERMEX pre-insulated polymer pipework has been installed as part of a £1m biomass investment at one of Wales’ most popular tourist attractions.

Portmeirion, the Italianate village in Gwynedd which was the setting for the iconic 1960s TV series The Prisoner, has had more than 3km of RAUTHERMEX pipework installed as part of a new district heating scheme providing heat and hot water.

A total of 29 buildings are part of the scheme, almost 90% of the total, including the famous Castell Deudraeth Hotel and its range of holiday cottages, shops, restaurants and even the village swimming pool.

For specialist installers ESP Energy, the project was particularly challenging because of the 40m difference in height between the Castell at the top of the village and the cottages down below.  Some of the RAUTHERMEX pipework transporting the heat between the two had to be installed into bare rock which meant the performance and flexibility of the pipe was crucial.

ESP Energy’s Site Manager Steve Hoole said:  “The durability of the LDPE outer jacket which surrounds RAUTHERMEX and the flexibility of the insulated pipe itself was a real benefit on this project where the site conditions and access were difficult.  The fact that it was available on continuous rolls also helped considerably because it meant we could lay long runs without the need for repeated joints.”

At Portmeirion, RAUTHERMEX single pipe (UNO) was installed in sizes from 32mm to 125mm and double pipe (DUO) in sizes 25mm to 63mm.  It was specified for the project because of its durability, and also because of its very high insulation performance (PU foam with a lambda value of 0.0216W/mK) which means it does not lose much heat on the long runs between buildings.

All of the pipework was supplied via Authorised Partner and independent distributor Mibec Ltd, which specialises in the supply of REHAU’s range of pre-insulated polymer pipe including RAUTHERMEX and the more flexible alternative RAUVITHERM.

The key driver for the investment in the biomass scheme for Portmeirion Ltd, which runs the village, was energy efficiency and lower running costs, so the thermal performance of the pipework was a key consideration.

The village of Portmeirion was the creation of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1976.   It became famous worldwide in the 1960s when it was the setting for The Prisoner series starring Patrick McGoohan.  It still attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year.