Historic Blickling Hall draws heat from its lake
- Credit: Archant
A stately home's scenic lake is also set to become a source of green energy to heat the historic house.
Blickling Hall's expanse of water is best known for its bird life, angling and as a backdrop to open air concerts.
But a network of pipes about to be sunk into its depths will provide a 21st century solution to heating the 17th century mansion.
A raft of 3½-miles worth of tubes being assembled on the banks will be connected to the hall by two pipes in a trench.
They will be filled with plant-based glycol 'anti-freeze' which picks up the residual heat in the lake water.
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It is pumped to the boiler room in the hall, where it is condensed under pressure to raise the temperature, said Spike Malin, premises manager at the National Trust property near Aylsham.
The new system, which is due to be in operation before Christmas, is part of a series of green energy projects being carried out by the trust at a cost of £30m.
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The work means the removal of two oil tanks at the hall which will save more than 25,000 litres of oil consumption. Mr Malin said: 'The electricity bill will go up by around £6,000 a year, but we spend £30,000 a year on oil.'
The heating will be used by the main historic hall and the est wing used for offices by the Trust and NHS.
Mr Malin said the system should have paid for itself within five years and that they will also receive money each year from the government's renewable heat incentive programme.
The life span of the 'lake collection array' is between 20 and 25 years, similar to a traditional boiler.
'And the nice thing is that you wont see it, apart from the top of a manifold chamber on the lake side,' added Mr Malin.
Project members from Blickling visited a similar scheme at the trust's Packwood House in Warwickshire, and could not see anything, which reassured them on the impact.