Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) represent a simple cost-effective solution, being ideal for both radiator and underfloor heating, providing all hot water and central heating requirements throughout the year. ASHPs harvest ‘low grade heat’ from the air and convert it into useful ‘high grade heat’ for use within a building. They are fitted outside the property, usually near an external wall and can be floor or wall mounted.

Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (GSHPs) on the other hand are normally installed inside the building and a position should be chosen so that the excavation work for the ground collector outside is as close to the heat pump as is practicable. They utilise energy that already exists in the ground in the form of stored solar energy. Comparing their performance against solar panels fitted to roofs, GSHPs can produce over six times more renewable energy.

Not all underfloor heating systems are the same and those that guarantee compatibility with the primary generator, whether a conventional fuel powered boiler or a renewable energy source, are the optimum solution. This is especially important if a heat pump is being employed as the efficiency of the system is compromised if the heat emitter is not designed to match its output and operating parameters.

Daikin Altherma heat pump 01 008

All buildings require a source of fresh air and although open windows do provide ventilation, a building’s heat and humidity will then be lost in the winter and gained in the summer. Both these scenarios are undesirable for the indoor climate and for energy efficiency. Mechanical Heat Recovery and Ventilation (MHRV) offers an optimal solution by providing fresh air, better climate control and energy efficiency.

Solar thermal systems use heat from the sun to offer warm domestic hot water throughout the year, reduced energy bills and a lower carbon footprint.  A Daikin solar system, for example, forms a perfect combination with a Daikin Altherma ASHP, providing efficient support for hot water production. In combination with solar collectors, this system maximises the use of renewable free energy from the environment. Solar panel electricity systems, or solar PV (photovoltaics), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can either be mounted on a roof or the ground.

envirounderfloor panel

Wood pellet boilers, biomass, are an environmentally friendly, safe and convenient way of heating. Using advanced controls to regulate the amount of fuel being delivered to the burner to match the heat demand on the boiler, they represent an innovative, green approach to heating.

A combination of traditional fossil fuel boilers and heat pumps in a single “bivalent” system can be very efficient. The heat pumps provide the heating for the home for the majority of the year and then the boiler takes over in cold weather. The heat pump is sized to support the property to a calculated heat requirement with the oil or gas boiler then taking over, so that a larger heat pump is not needed.

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By Ian Smith, Managing Director, IBD Distribution (Renewable Energy) Ltd

Sponsors - NEC