Garvagh company Geothermal Systems (Ireland) (GSI) has been helped by Invest Northern Ireland to develop a range of innovative heat pumps that draw heat from the ground for commercial and residential applications.
The company received support from Invest NI’s Design Development and Product Process Development programmes in developing the pumps for domestic and international markets. The pumps, which are capable of heating water up to 50C using extracted low grade ground heat, have already been sold to customers throughout Great Britain.
David Taylor, a GSI Director, says: “The increasing rise in fossil fuel prices is making this relatively new technology more cost-effective and attractive. We’ve also been immensely encouraged by the extent of interest being shown in our current systems from potential customers in England, Scotland and Europe.
“As well as residential users, the pumps are attracting interest from project developers, construction companies and district and rural councils in the UK. The pumps are a proven way to substantially reduce oil and gas costs. This together with zero carbon emissions gives the client the most cost effective and cleanest form of heating/cooling system on the market.”
Agricultural applications include controlled heating of plant nurseries, poultry houses, heat transfer from milk to water to hose down milking parlours, controlled heating and cooling of pig breeding houses etc.
“To assist the development and marketing of the pumps, we have formed partnerships with other established companies with considerable expertise and experience in technical areas, such as the development of heat exchangers, draught-ducting and control systems.
“Invest NI’s support and advice have been immensely important to us in the development of our technology which has a number of innovative features,” he adds.
Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development Services, commenting on the project, says: “Developing alternative energy sources, such as heat pumps, to oil and gas is becoming a economic priority for Northern Ireland and for companies wishing to reduce costs and enhance competitiveness.
“GSI has developed significant in-house knowledge in water-to-water and water-to-air systems. By developing the product in-house the company is improving its R&D capability and creating a reputation as being capable of successfully developing such products.
”This project will increase the company’s technical capability and assist the development of potentially very important technology in the North West.
“Encouraging and assisting innovative technology projects, particularly by small to medium sized enterprises, is a key objective of Invest NI’s North West Action Plan. Our support is geared to assist the company to bring this technology to market as fast as practicable,” she adds.
GSI has also received assistance from Invest NI to explore the potential of this technology in export markets.
The company’s shareholders include Glover Site Investigations of Ballymoney and Farlow Engineering in Garvagh.