52 HPM 0416

HPM-04-APR-2016

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com RENEWABLEENERGIES Heat pumps part of the heating armoury As standalone heating options or as part of a hybrid heating system, air source heat pumps (ASHPs) offer cost effective, energy efficient, low maintenance heating. Kamlesh Vadukul, LG’s sales manager for heating, examines ASHPs and why the heating sector is warming to them... The initial concerns about how air source heat pumps (ASHPs) worked have largely been left in the past. The technology works well. 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, 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 warm and comfortable, especially if the home is well insulated. Air source heat pumps have been available for many years – with models installed in the 1970s and 80s in the USA still operating efficiently. As with many things in life, here in the UK we were slower to embrace new technologies than many other countries so entered the market well behind those in North America and Europe, with Scandinavia and Canada – with two of the cooler climates in the world accepting them as efficient means of providing heating and hot water for many years. SERIOUS MAINSTREAM HEATING OPTION We head into 2016, and air to water air source heat pumps are now considered a serious mainstream heating option by most people in the sector, with a wide 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 domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has undoubtedly added to the attraction of ASHPs and other renewable technologies. Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approved equipment, sees the energy produced qualify for the domestic RHI – currently 7.42 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 (EPC) 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, while not necessarily game changing, is an attractive bonus. WWW.HPMMAG.COM The Therma V contains LG’s inverter technology ensuring the highest seasonal energy efficiency in combination with optimally designed components such as the water pump, heat exchanger and fan motor The main reason people are attracted to an ASHP – and the key benefit of an air to water heat pump – is the energy efficiency level that comes with the product. A traditional wet heating system comes with a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of slightly lower than 1.0. ASHPs provide their owners 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 4.50kW of heating output – which is impressive. Most ASHPs are available in split or monobloc units, depending on the specific installation and requirements of the system being installed. Different manufacturers have different interpretations of what a monobloc system is – LG’s Monobloc, for example, has been designed for ease of installation with all the key components of the heat pump installed at the factory – so installers do not have to install the additional components on site. The electric heater, the expansion tank, the plate heat exchanger and the ErP compliant high efficiency water pump are all installed at the factory, providing simplicity to the installer, no refrigerant piping – all leading to less time on site and easy access simply by removal of the front panel for maintenance. It’s also space saving and offers lower noise for the end user, with all these components being located in the outdoor unit. Selecting the right sized unit is key to the 52 APRIL 2016 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY performance of an ASHP. 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 vital 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. Air source heat pumps are here to stay and are becoming an ever more regular part of the heating armoury. This is helped by the RHI, the flexibility of the technology, low maintenance costs and the ease of installation. The number of ASHP installations has not been at a level that government and relevant agencies hoped over the past 12 months, but they are increasing and the potential for them is very much there in the years ahead. enquiry number 136


HPM-04-APR-2016
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