Graeme Haldane

1897 – 1981

Graeme Haldane

Engineering Achievements

Graeme (TGN) Haldane was born in Edinburgh in 1897 and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, working under Rutherford at the Cavendish Laboratory.

He was a visionary proponent of a national, rational electricity strategy. He was a pioneer of the National Grid.

But it is his pioneering work developing the concept of the heat pump that is his special claim to fame.

He was the first engineer in Britain (and, possibly, internationally) to construct, monitor and document the performance of a heat pump system for space heating. He built his experimental heat pump system at the Foswell Estate, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland. The environmental heat source that he used was the estate’s water supply. Haldane’s heat pump can be described as Britain’s earliest ground-source heat pump.

Heat Pump development is a key part of society’s response to climate change and as we approach the 100th anniversary of Haldane’s pioneering development it is worth recognising his vision and achievement. Heat pumps provide a way to make the grid more resilient in future use of wind and solar power as it provides a way to shift electrical demand by storing heat.

  1. 1897 Year of birth
  2. 1916 Was present at the battle of Jutland
  3. 1919 Worked at Cavendish Laboratory, Trinity College, Cambridge
  4. 1923 Apprenticeship with C A Parsons and Co
  5. 1925 Helped to establish the national grid
  6. 1927 Installed a heat pump in home in Perthshire
  7. 1928 Joined Merz and McLellan, engineering firm
  8. 1941 Became partner of Merz and McLellan
  9. 1948 President of Institution of Electrical Engineers
  10. 1981 Year of death
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