57 HPM 0413

HPM April 2013

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com RENEWABLEENERGIES Offering the best of both worlds Amid pressure from the government there has been a notable rise in interest of hybrid heating solutions as homeowners take small steps towards the goal of greater sustainability. Martyn Bridges, Worcester, Bosch Group, examines the role of hybrid heating solutions and their benefits... Following the introduction of the Green Deal earlier this year, it is evident that the government’s pledge to improve sustainability of the UK’s 25 million homes is still high on its agenda. Consequently for manufacturers, like Worcester, the creation of greener technologies has become increasingly popular, particularly for products which can be combined with traditional appliances, such as a boiler. The drive in the move towards hybrid heating solutions partially stems from the strength of the UK’s existing gas infrastructure. With over 80% of all homes reliant upon gas for their main source of heating and hot water, a full shift towards renewables may prove slightly challenging, not to mention expensive. Therefore, the inclusion of a renewable technology alongside an existing boiler is a half-way house solution, letting the homeowner enjoy the best of both worlds without a total re-haul. Perhaps the most popular hybrid solution is of course a boiler and solar thermal, however, a growing market is for the combination of an air to water heat pump and a gas or oil-fired boiler. While sales of heat pumps currently make up just one per cent of the overall heating market share, once awareness of the product benefits increases, we expect to see this rise. LIVING PATTERNS Due to their very nature, heat pumps work on an individual basis for each home, therefore, usage can vary according to the insulation within the home and also the living patterns of the occupants. In the winter months, a typical British property, which is unlikely to feature strong levels of insulation, will require its boiler to fire at high temperature levels in order to maintain the room at a comfortable temperature for the occupants. In contrast, during the months when heating isn’t required as frequently, for instance during the spring and autumn, the hybrid system will gauge the outside temperature and react accordingly. It will instruct the heat pump to override the boiler and deliver the lesser levels of flow temperatures to provide a more comfortable temperature. To meet the increasing demand for hybrid heating systems, manufacturers such as Worcester, have introduced bespoke hybrid systems which make the product as efficient as WWW.HPMMAG.COM Worcester’s Greensource air to water heat pump - the inclusions of a renewable technology alongside an existing boiler is a half-way house solution - letting the homeowner enjoy the best of both worlds possible. By incorporating an intelligent control module, the system will calculate the most efficient ratio between the external heat pump and the condensing boiler to reduce heating costs, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or a combination of both. While hybrid heat pumps seem like the most credible solution towards a greener future there are still some barriers to its installation. We have to be realistic and acknowledge that using electric heat pumps alongside a mains gas-fired boiler is extremely unlikely to prompt huge cost savings, however, it does offer real CO2 savings. Consequently the homeowner may struggle to understand what the benefits are and the decision to install the product. It does however offer very credible cost savings when substituting a non mains gas source, particularly LPG or oil. We believe the installer needs to educate the end user on the benefits of the product to help them regard it as a gradual step towards a greener future. It is also vital the consumer knows they 56 APRIL 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY are eligible for financial support from the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Deal. With the government keen to reduce carbon emissions by 80% before 2050, it is probable that at some point in the future the installation of a renewable product will become compulsory for the homeowner. The support of manufacturers and installers working together will help drive this solution forward and ensure everyone is working together towards a common objective. enquiry number 141


HPM April 2013
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