New company aims to help cut energy costs

Transen Sustainable Energy Systems Ltd (Transen), based in Coleraine, is investing in the manufacture and marketing of a new range of energy saving ground source heat pumps for export with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

Support for Transen, formed by three local businessmen, led by Bryan Law, the Managing Director, and based at Causeway Enterprise Park, Coleraine, was announced by Des Gartland, Manager of Invest NI’s North West Regional Office in Londonderry following the offer of financial assistance from Invest NI to the company.

Mr Gartland said: “This is an entrepreneurial and R&D focused business being set up to manufacture and sell an innovative geothermal pump which has extensive potential, particularly in markets outside Northern Ireland. The product is the outcome of research over the past few years and is already attracting enquiries from markets such as Europe and India.

“The company expects to grow exports to 50 per cent of turnover by 2010 through the implementation of a clearly defined and professional marketing strategy.

“Opportunities for this leading-edge technology are excellent, particularly against the background of steep rises in electricity and gas tariffs in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, as well as in Northern Ireland.  As a result, alternative sources of energy, which are sustainable and affordable, such as ground source heat pump systems, are becoming increasingly attractive for residential, commercial and agricultural users.

“Our support will help the company to bring the new heat pump systems to market and is in line with our strategic focus on assisting innovative products for international markets. In addition, the company will provide around five good quality jobs in Coleraine and is committed to R&D programmes on heat pump technology,” added Mr Gartland.

Outlining Transen’s objectives, Mr Law said: “Our aim is to offer high quality and price competitive ground source heat pump systems which have a high efficiency rating. All markets, including residential properties and social housing projects, as well as commercial construction and agricultural developments, can be offered a bespoke system.

“Ground source heat pumps use the relatively constant temperature of the earth to provide heating, cooling and domestic hot water for homes, schools, government and commercial buildings.

“While a small amount of electricity input is required to run a compressor, the energy output is of the order of four times this input. This is referred to as the Coefficient of Performance (COP). This makes heat pump systems a viable option for schools, offices and light industrial units, particularly as they can be used to cool buildings. We offer the client a ‘one stop shop’ service, from system design to installation and commissioning.

“Our research found a substantial market opportunity. The European Parliament, for instance, has set targets to double the share of heating and cooling systems from renewable energy sources, including heat pumps.

“Sweden already installs an average of 40,000 ground source heat pumps per annum.  In Sweden 97 per cent of new homes come with ground source heat pumps installed, whereas in the UK it is not considered the norm.  The UK is moving in the right direction with several initiatives such as the affordable warmth programme and grant aid for heat pump installation. During 2006/7 it is estimated that 2,000 ground source heat pumps were installed in the UK.