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All hands to the pumps

Each month we will bring you the latest heat pump developments and technology guidance from heat pump guru Graham Hendra

Training centre opens in Scotland
DeLonghi heat pump distributor Thermsaver has opened the Thermsaver- DeLonghi heat pump training centre in Bellshill, Scotland to offer courses in the technology
and installation of heat pumps.

In partnership with DeLonghi agent ICS, Thermsaver and its sister company CHES will now offer a one-day introduction course for air- and groundsource heat pumps and a two-day course covering application, design, installation and commissioning.

The centre, opened recently by MSP Michael McMahon, has heat pumps installed with buffer vessels, hot water cylinders and underfloor heating systems.

Thermsaver will also be providing accredited CPD seminars to architects and specifiers either in the conference room or at their own locations.

Mr McMahon said: “This is an exciting time in the industry with engineers looking to update their skills and enter new markets and this is also in line with the Scottish initiative on renewable energy.” He added “I’m delighted to be associated with the Thermsaver venture after its 25 years in the industry.”

Thermsaver is developing a partnership programme throughout Scotland and the Islands for the full DeLonghi product range in both the domestic and commercial
markets. At the same time CHES has achieved MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accreditation for heat pumps, which will enable assistance with client grant funding.

New compact domestic air source units from Dimplex
Dimplex has unveiled a new range of domestic air source heat pumps. The manufacturer says the LAB M range provides efficient heating and hot water, yet is
competitively-priced and has been designed to keep installation costs low.

It adds that the compact dimensions of the range mean that the units are ideal for the smaller property footprints typical of UK housing, particularly for social housing
and also for new-build, with today’s dwelling density targets.

The units feature a fully integrated circulating pump and expansion vessel to keep installation costs to a minimum, while standard control packages have been developed by Dimplex for heating only and heating and hot water applications, providing easy installation and simple operation.

Available in a choice of 7 kW, 9 kW and 11 kW outputs, the LAB M range is designed to provide both heating and domestic hot water, operating at outside temperatures as low as -15 deg C. Weather-compensated flow temperature control ensures system efficiency is maximised all year round.

Single phase electricity supply with soft-start control makes the range suitable for domestic use, while minimal maintenance and no annual safety inspection gives peace of mind for landlords, Dimplex says. The units are also suited for installation in off-gas areas and come with a three-year warranty when installed and commissioned by a Dimplex approved installer.

The range is undergoing approval under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, which will give eligibility for grant funding under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. For public sector organisations, this will provide grant aid of 50 per cent under LCBP Phase 2e. For individual householders, the LCBP Phase 1 grant of £900 can also be combined with the boiler scrappage allowance to give available funding of up to £1,300 per installation.

Heat pump boss puts his money where his mouth is
The managing director of the newly formed contractor Aspen Heat Pumps has put his faith in the technology by installing an air source heat pump in his own house

Bruce Cecil has replaced his existing LPG boiler with a 14 kW air source heat pump, which he calculated saved him around £500 in the two months to January.

Mr Cecil said: “It was the obvious choice when replacing my LPG-fuelled boiler. I have total faith in the reductions in running costs and carbon emissions that air source heat pumps can deliver, so naturally decided to put my money where my mouth is.

“This technology is more than three times more efficient than a standard boiler, with significantly lower running costs, low maintenance and quiet operation.”

Aspen Heat Pumps designed and installed the system, which comprises a 14 kW Ecodan from Mitsubishi Electric, guaranteed to work down to -25 deg C. Mr Cecil’s installation retains the existing radiators, which can be accommodated with the Ecodan when the radiators are correctly sized, which Aspen says naturally creates less disruption and lower cost when retrofitting.

Mr Cecil had a 300-litre hot water cylinder fitted at the same time to supply the house’s three bathrooms, as a larger coil is generally required to transfer heat efficiently. To make the most of the technology benefits, a Grundfoss Alpha domestic central heating pump was fitted, which adjusts the electric consumption in relation to the resistance of the system.

One challenge faced was to hide the two additional 28 mm pipes running to the outdoor unit. Aspen enclosed the pipes with three-inch black conventional drainpipes to make it look like part of the existing rainwater system.

Aspen says it is a one-stop shop for air-conditioning and heat pump installation, service, repair and maintenance for all types of commercial and residential applications.

Samsung offers heat pump with wall units
Samsung has unveiled a domestic heat pump package that uses wall ac units to bring the property speedily up to temperature if required, alongside traditional heating methods

The manufacturer claims the Eco Heat System is unique in the domestic market in its ability to heat and cool seasonally depending on the outdoor temperature, from a single outdoor unit. It does this thanks to separate air-to-water and air-to-air circuits, via its proprietary Time Division Multi technology.

TDM also enables air-to-water and air-to-air heating within the same system. The company says that warming a room via underfloor heating would take upwards of four hours, so the TDM technology provides the option of speedier heating via the wall units, enabling a room to reach the desired temperature within 5-20 minutes.

The system is also well suited to giving air conditioning installers a route into the heat pump sector, thanks to the large proportion of conventional DX installation.

The EHS comprises an outdoor unit, up to five indoor units and a hydro box designed to accommodate underfloor heating, radiators and hot water. The manufacturer said solar panels can be integrated into the system if required.

European air conditioning director Simon Rowe says that the use of split systems would offer flexibility, but importantly would allow the manufacturer to target the ac business it knows well, rather than plunge straight into the heating market.

He said the split version would be followed by a more conventional monobloc and then a high-temperature version.

The R410A inverter-driven system claims a COP of 4.55 for 11 kW using underfloor heating. In operation, the EHS is claimed to save a third on heating costs over a gas boiler with its reduced footprint adding capital cost savings as well.

“The combination of the fast heating, the ability to provide comfort cooling where required and the fact that it has a high degree of DX install will make it a good package to sell to cooling customers,” says Richard Ward of wholesaler HRP, which is a distributor for Samsung.

Heat Pump Clinic No1: CoP wash
The main advantage to installing an air or ground source heat pump system to heat is that it offers unrivalled energy efficiency. No other source of heating is capable of offering two free units of heat for every one unit of electricity used. This efficiency is the carrot used by us all in the trade to tempt the general public into using these systems.

The problem with all heat pumps is you have to pay to raise the temperature from the coldest part of the system to the warmest - the bigger the lift the lower the efficiency. In a typical air source system running with a temperature of 50 deg C, COPs can vary from 2.5, when the ambient is -2 deg C, to nearer 5 at 20 deg C.

Now as an engineer, I should quote the seasonal COP as the total heat energy output divided by the total energy input over the whole season, but this is almost impossible to calculate before installation.

In most domestic installations the performance figures quoted are seen for only a few hours a year and it varies markedly from these figures as the ambient conditions
change causing confusion.

All we need is an agreed calculation method for COP across the heating season, so everyone can sing off the same hymn sheet. We already have one for cooling efficiency called Seasonal EER. Watch this space - it’s on its way.

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