Minstrels Barn in Caldwell, North Yorkshire, is a traditional barn that underwent a major refurbishment in order to convert it to a comfortable living environment. Far from a simple project, the homeowners were set upon implementing renewable technologies that would make the building sustainable for years to come.

Sean Sowden, property owner and Co-Founder of Go Geothermal Ltd. – specialists in renewable heating technologies such as heat pumps – outlined how this ambition translated to the heating of the property: “Minstrel’s Barn was previously fuelled through oil, which is extremely expensive and inefficient in large indoor spaces such as the barn,” he said. “We decided to install a ground source heat pump as an alternative, supported by the use of solar thermal energy (to heat Domestic Hot Water and to pre heat the Glycol up to 20oC), and set ourselves the target of achieving the most efficient closed loop ground source heat pump in the UK – with a coefficient of performance (COP) ratio of at least 6.5, which has been archived by enhancing the brine temperature from solar integration.”

“However, given the heritage of the building, we had to ensure that we retained its character. As such, we needed a heating solution that could work effectively with a heat pump whilst accommodating the building’s defining features. For example, keeping the original oak floor in some rooms, as well as decorative floor tiling in others, meant that underfloor heating wasn’t an option. Low flow, energy efficient radiators became the natural choice.”

In order to meet these objectives whilst ensuring the property was sufficiently warm, Mr Sowden specified 18 Low-H₂O Jaga Strada DBE radiators to be installed throughout the home. These, along with the heat pump itself, were installed by Trimark Future Energy Systems.

“My work with Go Geothermal Ltd. means that I have come across Jaga radiators before and I was familiar with what they are capable of, particularly with regards to their effectiveness with low flow systems such as a heat pump.” he explained.

Whereas the temperature of the water being circulated around the house had previously averaged at 65°C, with the introduction of the ground source heat pump the water generally circulates at between 30°C to 38°C, though can reach as high as 49°C if required. For most radiators, achieving adequate levels of comfort from such temperatures would be a real challenge, particularly given the large spaces within the property that needed to be heated.

However, the Strada DBE is designed to be entirely compatible with low flow temperatures and provide exceptional standards of comfort. The Dynamic Boost Effect (DBE) technology works through the use of small, quiet fans attached to the heat exchangers that draw air over the element to boost the Low-H₂O radiator’s output by three times. As a result, the output, efficiency and responsiveness of the radiators are improved, and an extra boost of heat can be initiated as and when required.

This is combined with Jaga’s Low-H₂O technology, which means the radiators require just a tenth of the water of a standard steel panelled equivalent, and help to reduce energy costs by as much as 16%.   

“Since the Jaga radiators have been installed, our energy bills have fallen significantly and the house is lovely and warm 24/7,” said Mr Sowden. “I really like the responsiveness of the radiators, which also turn off as soon as the desired temperature is reached so that there is no wasted heat. Furthermore, the low surface temperatures of the Strada’s casing make them entirely safe for the home scenario.”

“Jaga themselves were supportive throughout the entire project. They were able to visit the site for measurements and recommendations, and subsequently provide us with 18 Strada DBE radiators with different specifications in terms of height, length and output.”

“Ultimately, we couldn’t be happier with the end result.” concluded Mr Sowden.

Working in conjunction with Trimark Future Energy Systems Ltd., who designed and installed the system, both Jaga and Go Geothermal Ltd. have contributed towards realising forward-thinking project based on tried and tested technologies that will future proof the building’s heating system for years to come.