The Queen's Head incorporates one of the region's favourite and authentic Cantonese restaurants in surely one of the country's "greenest" catering establishments!
With all the worrisome reports about the imminence of global disaster, more & more people are looking towards Green Energy, and hence are taking a keen interest at what we have done here at The Queens Head...
In a nutshell, we have installed geothermic heating, solar panels, PIR controlled fans & lighting, low energy lights where ever possible, waste heat drying room, water saving toilet flushers, automatic taps and even the beer pumps have been converted from being CO2 powered to compressed air power!
In very basic terms, the system takes heat energy from the ground and concentrates it to usable heat, via a heat pump, to heat our domestic water and under floor heating.
Buried to a depth of 1 to 1.5m, are four, 200 m long, 50 mm diameter pipes, connected together via inlet and outlet manifolds. This forms the "Ground Heat Collector". The manifolds are connected to the heat pump via two, 63mm pipes, where a circulating pump circulates a mixture of water and anti-freeze around the ground collector. The heat pump itself is similar to a refrigerator, where the water from the ground collector is cooled at the evaporator stage (the same as an ice box in a fridge), and the extracted heat is given up through the condenser (the same as the black coil on the back of a fridge).
Another circulating pump then circulates fresh water around the condenser taking the heat to either the under floor heating "Buffer Tank" or the domestic water tank.
If you haven't fallen asleep yet, this is the interesting part. The manufacturers claim an apparent 400% efficiency for the system! Any Engineer will tell you that it is impossible for a system to be more than 100% efficient! The extra apparent efficiency is provided by the sun heating the ground, but ultimately it means that for every 1kW of electrical energy used, 4kW of heat energy is produced!
There are four solar panels fitted on the southerly facing roof, the panels work best in direct sunlight, but will give an appreciable amount of heat even on cold dull days! In our case the system is used to heat the domestic water feed, but in the majority of domestic installations the system is used to heat the cylinder directly. During the long hot days that we have just enjoyed, so much heat was collected that the domestic water required little or no extra heating!
Or Passive Infrared Detectors, are used in the toilet areas, when the "Loos" are not being used, after a short period the lights and fans will turn off and as soon as someone enters the toilets the lights and fans turn on.
Water Saving Systems
Water saving flushers are fitted to the WC's, press and release the flush button and a small amount of water is used, press and hold the button, more water is used, or until the cistern is empty, you choose how much water is used!
Automatic taps are fitted to the sinks, hold your hands under them and they turn on, remove your hands, and they turn off. On the hot water side of the taps is a circulating system thus reducing the amount of cold water run off, before the hot water comes through.
Waste Heat Drying Room
In the past the beer line and soft drinks coolers have just vented the heat into the atmosphere! Now they have been installed into a room (for those who remember the place as it was, the ex-ladies toilet). As we do our own laundry work for the likes of the recyclable hand towels, table cloths and staff clothing, this is the perfect arrangement. I can not remember the last time the tumble dryer was used!
Compressed air powered Beer Pumps
Traditionally, beer assist pumps have been CO2 powered, and as most CO2 is obtained as a by-product from the chemical industries is not considered to be a Green option because it is not naturally occurring. Thus we have switched to compressed air, and hence are reducing our CO2 emissions even further!
Low Energy Lighting
All our external lighting is low energy, and where possible so is the internal lighting, however, the restaurant lighting is not low energy, because the lights are dimmable and low energy lights can not be dimmed! In our defence, we are operating the lights at reduced power!
Plans for future projects
There are lots of areas that I would like to tackle in the future, but the projects I have in mind are very cash intensive! Mandy and the Bank Manager are already going grey! So for the moment, all I will say is, watch this space!