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Electricity North West

Electricity company ‘earths’ depot trial net zero carbon project

Regional distribution network operator (DNO) Electricity North West has put a Daikin low carbon solution to the test, boosting its drive towards a net zero carbon operation.


This significant forward step involves a water-cooled VRV W+ ground source heat pump air conditioning system, which maintains year-round stable and comfortable temperatures inside a key part of its Chadderton depot in the Oldham area of Greater Manchester. 


Electricity North West is responsible for keeping power flowing to 2.4 million properties in the North West of England. 


The company owns, operates, manages and maintains a network that distributes electricity to homes and businesses through 13,000km of overhead lines, 43,000km of underground cables and 38,000 transformers. Chadderton is one of several depots supporting the regional network.

Electricity company ‘earths’ depot trial net zero carbon project

Aiming to achieve net zero carbon status wherever possible, the company has switched the Chadderton depot’s two-storey office building to the Daikin system for heating and cooling. The Daikin condensing unit is cooled through a water loop in three 150-metre boreholes near the building.

The building consists of an open plan office on the ground floor, with a smaller open plan area and two meeting rooms of different sizes upstairs. There is also a small communications room. Estimated peak loads are 19.23kW (cooling) and 18.26kW (heating).


“The building was previously heated by a mix of storage and radiant heaters and an older air source heat pump system. This was relatively expensive to run – and did not guarantee optimum working comfort for colleagues based at the site.

“This innovative low carbon Daikin system was selected because, as a DNO we’re taking responsibility to lead by example and to highlight this to others in the region as we strive to be more energy efficient as a key way of reaching net zero.”

- Electricity North West Net Zero Carbon Manager Daniel Shanley

Indoor air quality and comfort levels are enhanced by a Daikin heat recovery VAM ventilation unit in the first floor ceiling void. Unit speed is controlled by a CO2 sensor, while the heat recovery facility minimises the thermal impact of incoming fresh air. 

The Daikin systems are controlled centrally by a Daikin i-Touch Manager, with Daikin white Madoka controllers for local adjustments, if required.

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