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Luxury eco holiday apartments on the Isle of Eriska install NIBE air source

Background to the project

The Isle of Eriska Hilltop Reserves are two luxury eco holiday apartments on the west coast of Scotland. Set on an elevated ridge in the 300-acre grounds of the Isle of Eriska Hotel, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments are completely off-grid. While space heating and hot water for the rest of the hotel comes from a large biomass system, piping this uphill to the hilltop development 600m away was not a viable option – so the challenge was to find a reliable, on-site renewable heating system that would meet guests’ heating and hot water needs all year round. Beppo Buchanan-Smith, managing director at the hotel, had done some research into NIBE air source heat pumps, and approached local renewable energy specialist Ferguson Energy for a bespoke solution.

Isle of Eriska

NIBE products used:

Key stats:

NIBE F2040 16kW

Air Source Heat Pump


Hot Water Cylinder


Buffer Vessel


Control Module

  • F2040 Air Source currently provides for two apartments with capacity for two more
  • Luxury apartments fitted with NIBE F2040-16kW Air Source
  • Installed by Ferguson Energy

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The solution to the project

As the lodges are very well-insulated and fitted with water-based underfloor heating throughout, Barry Ferguson, director at Ferguson Energy, advised that they would be ideally suited to a NIBE F2040 air source heat pump (which operates at similarly low flow temperatures). Having worked with NIBE products before, Ferguson Energy was able to specifically recommend the F2040 as the best system to meet the project’s needs – both in terms of performance and capital cost.

The team specified, designed, sized and installed the system – which consists of a 16kW F2040 unit, a 500L VPB hot water cylinder, a UKV 200 buffer tank and SMO 20 intelligent controls. They sited the air source heat pump unit outside a separate, purpose-built plant room (and installed the accompanying hot water cylinder and buffer tank inside the room). This means the whole system is set apart from the lodges themselves.

The Results

The system is now fully up and running, and is specially set up to require minimal customer input. Its user-friendly controls are pre-programmed to keep the lodges at a consistent, comfortable temperature of 21°C during daylight hours and 15°C at nighttime, with hot water available on demand.

By opting for a 16kW F2040 unit – which not only has enough capacity to serve the existing two lodges, but could also easily accommodate two more in the future – the Ferguson Energy team have also created a versatile, small-scale district heating system that fits in with plans to grow the development.


As luxury holiday homes, our Hilltop Reserves are sold on a ten-year basis with no maintenance fees. With this in mind, when it came to choosing the right heating system, we were conscious that it not only needed to be high-spec, reliable and easy to operate, but also as cost-effective to run as possible. Our guests expect luxury, and we wanted their heating system to reflect this – providing readily available and dependable hot water and heating whenever it is needed. The system is now fully operational, and we’re delighted with the results!

Beppo Buchanan-Smith, Managing Director at the Isle of Eriska Hotel.

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