Esker Lodge Nursing Home

Client Name: Esker Lodge Nursing Home

Consultant Engineers:
John Egan & Associates

Status: Complete

During the planning stage of the project the client had requested the importance of keeping the running cost of the building to an absolute minimum and was keen to use renewable technologies to do so. Laurence Mechanical services worked in close partnership with John Egan & Associates to install and commission a heating and cooling system that would meet the client’s expectations.

The main distribution system within the building is by means of underfloor pipe work this allows the client to use the system for heating in winter and free cooling in summer.

The project was ideally located to allow the installation of 75m² of solar collectors and because the Irish climate has days of low sunshine it was agreed to install and alternative renewable heat source.

Ice Sticks where chosen as the alternative source of renewable heat replacing 35,000 -75,000kwh/year of the buildings need for fossil fuels which also reduces the building co2 emissions. Though it cannot completely replace the building’s need for heat, it helps reduce energy usage by as much as 60% when compared to oil or gas.

Few people understand the workings of a heat pump, but everyone understands that heating and cooling costs money. The Ice-Stick is a novel implementation of the classic heat pump consisting of a statue-like set of outdoor aluminium pipes that look a lot like, well, an icicle. These outdoor Ice-Stick pipes condense water vapour from the air, causing the refrigerant inside them to warm and evaporate. When the evaporated gas moves to Ice-Stick’s compressor (the system’s only moving part), pressurization raises the temperature of the refrigerant further. The system’s pump sends this accumulated heat through the water system of the building. With the heat dispersed via the underfloor pipework and pressure lowered, the refrigerant is ready to travel back up to the evaporator to repeat the cycle.