The Maritime Centre in Northumberland

Air Source Heat Pump


Newbiggin Maritime Centre, a visitor attraction in the North East, were running old and inefficient Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs), so approached Calibrate for help.

The Centre is a visitor attraction near the sea that provides leisure facilities including a café, shop, a three gallery museum and a large function room. The system provides all the underfloor heating to the centre so is pivotal to the centre’s function. With energy prices rising, the old system was becoming unsustainable for the charity.

The Timeline

6 weeks from consultation to commissioning.

August 22 – Calibrate approached to look into running issues and poor efficiency on ageing heat pump system and quotations for repairs were discussed.
September 22 – The decision was made to renew the units for more efficient and reliable ones on Calibrate’s Maintenance plan. The units and components were ordered to meet the deadline and to be installed prior to colder weather in October.
October 22 – System running and commissioned with maintenance plan in place.

The Process.

After due diligence investigating the problems, it was decided that it was most economical and beneficial to replace the system rather than re-engineer. Due to the lack of maintenance the system was showing a coefficient of performance (COP) of under 2% and Calibrate wanted to get that to at least double that figure. The cost to upgrade the existing system was not viable so the decision was made to go for a hybrid system using the original infrastructure, which was deemed fit for purpose by the technical team, and retrofit new ASHPs to the system.

The Outcome

The specification of the final installation was for 5 x 14kw Mitsubishi Zubadan R32 ASHPs, including a new control system and connected to the existing pipework. This was to replace 8 x less efficient ASHPs. This increased the (COP) to above 4.5%, over double the performance of the original system.

The new heat pumps were mounted surreptitiously on the roof of the centre out of site,  but with suitable access for annual servicing and routine maintenance. As this site is located near the sea, it was vitally important that the pumps were correctly spaced, the old ones had not been and had contributed to their failure. Also, with the sea air, it was even more crucial to have regular servicing so the centre signed up for an 8 year service plan with Calibrate.

Please see our further case studies for more examples.

Project Details


October 2023


Newbiggin Maritime Centre


Contact Us