Chris Davis, business development director for Dimplex Renewables, considers a number of points installers should know about air source heat pumps to capitalise on a growing market for them in the wake of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) announcement
- 1) Size matters
The MCS heat pump installer standard, MIS3005, is designed to ensure the quality and consistency of heat pump installations in the UK and the RHI requires compliance in order for any installation to be eligible.
Among the updates made to MIS3005 in March 2012 was a ‘100 per cent’ sizing rule which means all heat pumps must be capable of meeting the full heating load down to a specified minimum outside temperature without the use of supplementary electric heaters.
This is especially important for the sizing and selection of air source heat pumps, where the output often reduces as the air temperature drops, to prevent high running costs by over reliance on electric back up heating. Unfortunately it means installers are often forced to “oversize” the system in order to meet the full heating load.Only the latest models from leading manufacturers, such as Dimplex with our new A Class air source heat pump, can offer a full rated output at low air temperature and high water temperature to prevent the need for oversizing.
2) Designed to work alongside other renewable technologies
Air source heat pumps are incredibly sophisticated products which have a large part to play in the future of heating in the UK. Future-proof, intelligent and with the ability to feed back into the grid, they can also be combined with other renewable technologies to deliver substantial cost savings and cut emissions.
Solar thermal technology, for example, offers a low carbon hot water solution and can provide as much as 60% of a building’s annual hot water demand. It can be combined with a heat pump system to offer a complete renewable energy solution for space and hot water heating. And with solar thermal also eligible for RHI funding, customers can get a double RHI benefit from both their heat pump and solar system. Look out for pre-built packages, which can give installers everything they need to integrate heat pump and solar thermal technology.
3) Get yourself trained
To access RHI, installers will have to be MCS approved. It is also vitally important to not only attend generic technology training offered by commercial training providers, but also to be trained by your equipment manufacturer of choice – who, after all, are the experts in the technologies and can relay the specific requirements for their individual properties. Nowhere is this more important that in the area of controls. Manufacturers can also support with correct sizing and system design.