060 HPM 0415

HPM April 2015

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com RENEWABLEENERGIES A regular part of the heating armoury? Jody Lees, LG’s head of air conditioning and energy solutions, explains why air source heat pumps are such an attractive heating option for many… Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are increasingly being seen as a mainstream heating alternative in UK homes, as renewable heating options grow in popularity. As standalone heating options or as part of a hybrid heating system, they offer cost effective, energy efficient and low maintenance options - something that has seen them increasingly used in social housing developments, as well as in private new build and replacement heating systems. An ASHP extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is well below freezing. Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures but over much longer periods. During the winter they may need to be on constantly to heat a home efficiently. Radiators won't feel as hot to the touch as they might do when you are using a gas or oil boiler but over a longer period, they will provide the level of heat required to keep the home comfortable. ASHPs are still relatively new additions to the heating system portfolio of options in the UK, although they have been available for many years - with models installed in the 1970s and 80s in the USA still operating. EMBRACING NEW TECHNOLOGIES As with many things in life, here in the UK we were less willing to embrace new technologies than other countries so entered the market well behind those in North America and Europe, with Scandinavia and Canada - two of the cooler climates in the world accepting them as efficient means of providing heating and hot water for many years before we did. As with many renewable energy source products, there was initially some feeling that there was something of a black art associated with products that produced heat, in an energy efficient manner, without burning fossil fuels. ‘That can’t really work’ was a common phrase in the early years of this century, despite the technology existing and making sense if you gave it the time of day to take a closer look at it. So here we are in 2015, and air to water heat pumps are a serious mainstream heating option, with a range of models available and most major manufacturers of heating equipment recognising the requirement to have an ASHP range up their sleeves, even if they are support equipment for the products they are perhaps best known for. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has undoubtedly added to the attraction of ASHPs WWW.HPMMAG.COM and other renewable technologies. Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approved equipment, sees the energy produced qualify for the domestic RHI - currently 7.3 pence per kilowatt hour of renewable heat produced. Renewable heat generated by heat pumps will be based on an estimate of the heat demand from an Energy Performance Certificate combined with an estimate of the heat pump's efficiency. So selecting an air to water heat pump will see the owner of a domestic heat pump receiving payments quarterly for seven years, which is an attractive bonus. The key benefit of an air to water heat pump is the energy efficiency that comes with the product. A typical, traditional wet heating system offers a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of around or slightly lower than 1.0. ASHPs provide users with a maximum COP of around 4.5. Put simply, for every 1 kW of power it takes to run the pump it delivers up to around 4.50kW of heating output, which is impressive by any standards. Selecting the right sized unit is key to 60 APRIL 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY performance. You should ask if there is a selection programme available to installers providing professional reports with as much or as little information as is required, providing end users with estimates of cost and energy savings from each model available. The selection programme will also include MCS sizing rules for air to water heat pumps with design criteria, enabling the installer to select the right unit to provide the correct heat output at a given location, based on mean temperatures achieved in a wide range of locations, based on historic climate statistics. It’s really important to get the sizing right for an ASHP. If a property already has an 8kW heat demand for example, an 8kW heat pump is unlikely to be able to deliver the necessary heating when the outside weather is at its coldest. ASHPs are here to stay and will become an ever more regular part of the heating armoury. Helped by the RHI, the flexibility of the technology, low maintenance costs and the ease of installation will prove to be a winning combination. enquiry number 146 LG’s Monobloc has been designed for ease of fit with all key components of the heat pump fitted at the factory


HPM April 2015
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