Formpave announces groundbreaking geothermal solution

Formpave announces groundbreaking geothermal solution

Formpave, a leading manufacturer of concrete block pavers and permeable paving solutions, has announced its new Aquaflow Thermapave®, an industry-first solution that integrates its patented permeable paving with the proven technology of ground source heat pumps (GSHP) technology. The innovative and unique combination of the Aquaflow permeable paving with a ground source heat pump helps businesses and homeowners tackle the global climate change challenges with regard to flooding, pollution, rainwater recycling and harvesting, rising energy costs and dwindling reserves.

The integration of these two key technologies delivers a unique and highly energy-efficient system for harvesting rainwater and managing floodwater, whilst using the earth’s heat to provide a sustainable heat and cooling solution for the interior of the building. Environmental benefits of the system include: up to 70% saving on annual fuel bills, attractive and measurable payback within the first 5-6 years, low noise, up to 50% reduced CO2 emissions, reduced land take, reduced water bills by an average of 50%, water harvesting and reuse – water stored underground can provide a supply for re-use within the home, i.e. toilets, car washing and irrigation and the system plays a significant part in mitigating storm floodwaters effect on the environment.

The solution has been well received by customers and with a number of evaluations and implementations in progress, Formpave has started work on the installation of Aquaflow Thermapave at the new state-of-the-art Hanson plc offices. Currently under construction in Stewartby, this site will boast 6,500m2 of Aquaflow Thermapave in the car parking areas to provide a renewable energy solution to the building.

As well as the significant benefits to the end consumer that Aquaflow Thermapave offers, it also provides numerous advantages to the industry. The geothermal technology is installed within a paved area and so there is no extra land required, therefore maximising build potential. It also drives compliance with best practice and can help to provide a high CSH (Code for Sustainable Homes) score, an important factor for specifiers and engineers.

“We are pleased to be launching Aquaflow Thermapave where renewable energy and sustainability are key issues for our industry,” said Steve Spikes, Development Director at Formpave. “Our new solution demonstrates a considerable contribution to protecting the environment by maximising the efficient use of raw materials to provide homes and business with sustainable resources.”

Heading up marketing development, Roger Garrett is Formpave’s renewables and geothermal paving expert and his team have developed the advanced permeable paving and GSHP integrated solution. “This system has already been installed at the Hanson House, BRE, and has undergone rigorous tests and trials with staggering results. Up to 6KW of heating or cooling energy can be produced from a 65m2 Aquaflow paving installation and this proves to be more than enough power to maintain a comfortable year round temperature - all with the added benefit of a water harvesting and storm management solution incorporated.”

The Aquaflow Thermapave system works by installing slinky pipes into the voided sub-base of the Formpave Aquaflow system in order to generate sufficient energy to allow the transfer (exchange) of heat into buildings during cold periods and out of the building in the summer months. There is an ambient temperature in the sub-grade area of 10 degrees that creates the energy within the refrigerant to affect the heat exchange.

The operational efficiency of this sustainable technology, when buried within permeable pavement, is more beneficial compared to conventional methods of being laid in soil for two key reasons:

1. The large water holding capacity of the pavement system ensures that the heat extraction pipes are constantly buried in water, and often running water, unlike in soil where fluctuations of the water table or soil drying can dramatically reduce the ground conductivity.
2. The termination of down pipes in the paving system leads to a replenishment of local heat in the stored water by mixing and the introduction of kinetic energy from the flow.

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Established in 1989 Formpave, which is based in Coleford Gloucestershire, are manufacturers of concrete block paving and offer a range of block types to suit all purposes. Formpave were the pioneers of permeable paving and have completed numerous...
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