A small rural farm located in rural Staffordshire holds the lofty ambition of generating all its own electricity and heating requirements.

Nathan Johnson, the owner of Manifold Cottage Farm, approached CTS Solar to design and install a 10kWp solar PV system to complement the Ground Source Heat Pump already in operation. Ground source heat pumps use pipes which are buried in the ground to extract latent heat from the earth. This heat is then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in the home. The pump itself uses electricity and produces on average four units of heat for every unit of electricity consumed.
The installation of solar panels allows the farm to offset the electricity used to heat the property. Johnson commented: “Like many people I have become increasingly frustrated with energy price rises, by combining Solar PV with a Heat Pump system I am significantly less affected by fluctuating energy costs which gives me valuable peace of mind”

CTS Solar were able to complete the solar installation before cuts to the feed-in tariff rate took hold on December 12. In order to install and register the system before the reference date, CTS Solar had to complete the installation in less than four days. Manifold Cottage Farm expects to recoup the cost of the solar array within five years.