Eleven Years with Massenza Rigs at Nicholls Boreholes

Rockbit UK has been supplying Massenza drilling rigs to Nicholls Boreholes for over eleven years. Nicholls Boreholes are a leading installer of Ground Source Heat Pump systems across the South of the UK. Nicholls Boreholes recently purchased their 6th rotary Massenza rig, a new MI5, designed with the latest specifications, which will complement and enhance the existing Nicholls fleet. As a forward-thinking drilling company with a variety and range of rigs in our fleet, we have the flexibility and capability to undertake a wide and growing range of projects.

With the new MI5 rig, Nicholls is able to install 150 metre GSHP boreholes in a very small area, such as a front drive or a back garden. Looking forward, the increased dexterity and agility of the MI5 will be essential for the development of GSHP systems within the retro-fit market, which is being seen as the future rollout of renewable energy in the UK and currently a growth area for the drilling industry.

Working with Massenza and Rockbit UK, Nicholls have successfully grown a fleet of rigs able to cover projects from small 100mm rotary test holes to 400mm commercial water boreholes. Over 250 metre boreholes are achievable by all of the fleet.

Some of Nicholls Boreholes’ recent projects include a large commercial borehole for a leading Premiership Club. This was our second commission from the football club using our remote-control MI12 with built on rod carriage and self-loading facility. The MI12 enabled the crew to install a 300 mm borehole over 100 metres with only two drilling engineers, reducing both manual handling and the on-site labour costs. Nicholls also undertake the testing, licensing, pump and filtration installation along with the on-going maintenance for the football club’s essential water abstraction requirements.

We were also contacted by one of our existing clients who wanted to install a GSHP system in a high-end residential building in Central London with very little outside space. After a site assessment we decided that the only way to install boreholes at this site was below the building footprint. Access was only available by opening up the basement during extensive refurbishment works. This required all of the drilling equipment to be lowered 12 metres into the basement. A road-closure was needed to enable all of the equipment to be lowered in to place. Throughout the project a smaller site crane was used to transport and remove materials. This project was undertaken by our experienced team using our original MI5 rig and auxiliary equipment.  Due to the geology beneath the site, 90 metres of temporary casing was installed in each of the 9 boreholes to hold open the running sands at depth to enable the installation of the 40mm probes to a depth of 125 metres BGL.  The temporary casing was withdrawn, and the boreholes grouted in.

Across the last eleven years Nicholls Boreholes have worked on over four hundred GSHP systems ranging from a single closed-loop borehole to larger borehole fields with over forty boreholes.  The growing and innovative range of the latest drilling equipment offered by Massenza, together with the excellent customer service and developed relationship with Rockbit UK has enabled Nicholls to fulfil all the requirements of its existing clients and to be best placed to meet the future needs of the rapidly growing renewable energy market.

“We have been extremely impressed with the support from both Rockbit and Massenza directly throughout our relationship and look forward to many more years working together.”

Ben Nicholls, Owner/Director, Nicholls Boreholes & Groundsource