Heat pumps

A kinder kind of heating

Panasonic’s Tony Lathey

While the impact of climate change becomes more apparent, companies, governments and individuals must take a greater responsibility in reducing their human impact upon the environment. Tony Lathey, Panasonic’s UK air to water pre-sales manager, discusses the air source heat pump – an environmentally friendly technology for heating and cooling homes

considered. Thanks to the vast amount of information available online and the various government schemes, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), homeowners are becoming more knowledgeable and demanding renewable technology to heat and cool their homes. The attraction of a self-build project is that the


owner can put more consideration into the products they specify and explore how these solutions can benefit them in the future. It comes as no surprise that renewable technology is a high priority for self-build projects, with attention turning from traditional heating systems to solutions such as air source heat pumps. Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are suitable for

residential properties where the emphasis is on green, energy-efficient technology. Independent tests by the EHPA have shown that Panasonic’s Aquarea air-to-water heat pump system can save up to 80% on heating expenses, and is more efficient than other heat sources. Air source heat pumps use air from outside,

generating energy to heat the building and produce hot water. Up to 80% of the energy generated by the heat pump comes from the air, with electricity making up the remaining 20%, making it not only cost-effective, but also environmentally friendly. With increasingly volatile energy prices, an air source heat


ASHPs can make a significant difference to energy bills. 1. Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient with a COP of 5.29 2. They work in climates where the temperatures drop to -28°C 3. Heat pumps are compact and simple to install 4. They have low noise levels 5. Wides range of solutions: underfloor heating, radiators and fan coils 6. Ideal for properties off grid 7. Can be connected to solar panels (PV or Thermal) 8. Reduced heating, hot water bills and maintenance costs 9. Heat pumps qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) 10. Externally positioned, saving on valuable internal living space.

 October 2018

enewable technology, together with cost savings and efficiency is now high on the agenda when purchases are being

pump is a good option to help reduce overall energy bills by up to 60% (when compared to fossil fuel alternatives). Solar panels can also be connected to a heat pump system to further increase the efficiency. An air source heat pump is a considerable

investment. It is therefore important, when buying a heat pump, to choose a reputable manufacturer who will provide a quality service, a comprehensive warranty and provide proper guidance about the buying and installation of heat pumps. The initial outlay of a sustainable heating system may be slightly higher, however buying from a reputable manufacturer will ensure a high-quality, long life product, low maintenance costs and the peace of mind that you’ve made an optimised investment. A reputable manufacturer will also have the confidence in their products to offer a comprehensive warranty. The air source heat pump solution offers a space

saving, energy-efficient heating solution that can be easily adapted for installation in flats, bungalows and houses. The outdoor heat pump unit draws ambient air across the refrigerant-filled coils. The captured heat in the refrigerant is transferred to water. If a higher temperature is required the compressor raises the temperature on a modulated basis, which is then ready for use in the heating system or domestic hot water cylinder. This system is at the forefront of energy

innovation and resolutely positioned as a ‘green’ heating solution. Furthermore, the heat pumps have

the added benefit of being externally positioned to help save on valuable internal living spaces. One forward thinking owner, Jude McKelvey,

recently renovated and converted an abandoned 17th-century barn into a domestic dwelling (pictured below) for herself and her two sons to live in. She was heavily involved in all decisions, including the provision of heating and hot water. She comments: “I was looking for a reliable, efficient and cost-effective heating solution for the barn, but one that also didn’t detract from the beauty of the amazing building. Also, we wanted to avoid having to install an oil tank, and therefore looked for a system based on renewable technologies that would also keep our running costs down for heating such a large space. We were pleased to work with the team at Eco Installer to advise on the most appropriate solution and then design and install the air source heat pump system.” Renewable energy, plumbing and heating specialist, Eco Installer, provides plumbing, heating, renewable energy and ventilation services in Cambridgeshire. The challenges for the installation of the heat pumps was that the structure was large with the beams of the whole building exposed and open plan. Everything was visible, (beams/structure etc), therefore the neatness of the installation was critical to the project. Sizing the heat pumps and carrying out heat-loss calculations were all a challenge as the barn was very large, old, and ventilation changes were unknown. Tony Holland from Oceanair, the distributor of the

Panasonic system commented: “The Panasonic Aquarea T-Cap provides a reliable and constant nominal capacity output and excellent energy rating with a COP of 5.29. The quietness of this system was also a deciding factor. As well as being a reliable and efficient heating and hot water solution, this Total Capacity system maintains heating capacity, even with cold outdoor temperatures, maintaining 16kW of heating, even when outside is as low as -15˚C.” Jude concluded: “We were delighted to find the

Panasonic Aquarea T-Cap. Having now experienced our first cold winter we found that the heating solution installed kept the barn at a comfortable temperature throughout – and we had no surprises when it came to the fuel bills.”

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