55 HPM 0413

HPM April 2013

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com RENEWABLEENERGIES Complete control of heat and hot water To get the best out of a heat pump you need an energy hub. But how do they work? Cliff Arnold, general manager of CTC, part of the Enertech Group, explains... Last century, television programmes like Tomorrow’s World showed us what the 21st century might look like. It was a future with hover boards, holidays on the moon, and robots serving our everyday needs. CTC can’t help you to fly, or with your holidays, but we can help you with intelligent design to manage your everyday heating needs. If a greater control of energy consumption and a return on investment is what people want then high-performance heat pumps are the future. But as the Department of Energy and Climate Change has established, not all heating systems can be fully switched from using fossil fuel to heat pump technology. When it comes to heat pump installation they encourage the use of multiple heat sources – for example, heat pumps integrated with solar thermal. REASONS FOR HEAT PUMPS So what’s so good about heat pumps? The answer is that installing heat pumps can deliver high heating outputs with low energy input. Adding other sources of renewable heat can take efficiency to a whole new level. And, when I say efficiency, I mean a far greater and practical level of control of the energy you use and as a result the money spent on it. To enjoy the full benefits of renewable heat within a multiple energy system you need an intelligent energy hub. They’re usually a cylinder of some kind - and they are the brains, the robot if you like, of your heat and hot water. Without an intelligent energy hub the separate heating sources within a standard thermal store system will work independently – on their own accord. As a result they will run inefficiently and the fuel bills will be bigger than they should be. An intelligent energy hub on the other hand provides a heating system with somewhere to store usable energy as and when it becomes available throughout a 24 hour period. By controlling and managing all of the heat sources being fed in and out of the heating system, an intelligent energy hub can prioritise lower cost renewable heat sources. For example, in the morning the intelligent energy hub will have heated the store with cheap rate energy from the grid for heating and hot water. During the day the solar thermal energy has charged both the upper tank and lower tank, while turning off the heat pump. Lighting a wood burner in the evening will hold off the heat pumps and allow the store to charge to a high temperature if required for peak heat and hot water use. The additional heat input WWW.HPMMAG.COM CTC’s EcoZenith is able to manage and store energy and control the heat distribution effectively from an oil or LPG boiler can also be utilised for high energy demand properties. Pretty clever right? But it doesn’t end there. Take the CTC EcoZenith as an example; this unit is able to manage and store energy from all of the mentioned heat sources and control the heat distribution effectively. The integrated tariff control offers high energy management capability. The expansion of this unit allows for larger energy storage by adding external storage vessels - added systems can be applied for pool control, passive cooling and ground loop charging heat pumps. ONE TANK, TWO COMPARTMENTS The system needs to be able to identify when and where energy is coming from. If not, it will generate heat when free energy is available elsewhere. This would reduce its performance and efficiency. Therefore, it is important that an energy hub can manage the distribution of energy because stored energy can be required for both heating and hot water. This is dealt with by an energy hub’s tank. Some have two compartment style tanks – they manage the distribution of hot water. These have the advantage over energy hubs with only one tank – because if you’re heating water in one tank from 10 to 50°C you run the risk of 54 APRIL 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY depleting the energy available in a thermal store. HOW IT WORKS The heat for hot water is delivered via a high energy transfer coil within the unit – some are capable of delivering flow rates of up to 40 litres per minute. If the demand for hot water is larger than the capacity of the unit then an additional external domestic hot water unit can be added and managed by the control system. The heating is controlled via weather compensation logic, capable of managing more than one heating zone. Up to three different zones can be controlled by an energy hub. It constantly measures and monitors the internal target temperatures against the outside temperature. Using the lower compartment primarily for heating the energy hub uses a four way mixing valve to vary the target heating temperature for a fast and efficient heating solution. So remember, if you’re thinking of a heat pump installation, think energy hubs. They are able to fully and successfully manage multiple sources of heat. All the customer has to do is enjoy the benefits that an energy hub can bring – complete control of heat and hot water, highly efficient performance, and smaller energy bills. enquiry number 140


HPM April 2013
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