Heat Pumps – Low Cost, Low Carbon Heating

Heat Pumps – Low Cost, Low Carbon Heating Heat pumps can provide heating for space and water at a lower cost than oil, electricity, LPG and mains gas. 3 - 4 units of heat are produced for each unit of electricity taken to pump the heat. Domestic heating cost saving can be significant:

Against electricity the annual cost saving can be as much as £1,000, against oil, £750, solid fuel £350 and gas £400.
Heat Pumps - Significant CO2 Savings

The efficiency of Heat Pumps for domestic heating is not simply monetary, Heat Pumps generate significant savings in CO2 Emissions. Annualised, against electricity and cost the saving per home is approximately 6.5T, against oil 1.2 T and against gas 1.2T.

Heat Pump Types

There are two main types of heat pump system; air source and ground source:

Ground Source Heat Pumps – 3 Components.

Ground Source Heat PumpsGround source heat pumps use a loop buried underground, to transfer heat from the ground into a building to GroundHeatprovide heating to heat water. The ground source heat pump system comprises of three components:-

1. Ground Loop. Lengths of pipe are buried in the ground, filled with a water / antifreeze mix. This fluid is pumped round the pipe absorbing heat from the ground.

2. Heat pump. The heat pump has three parts:
a. Evaporator - Extracts the heat from the water in the pipe.
b. Compressor - Pushes the refrigerant through the heat pump, compressing the resulting gas to produce the required temperature.
c. Condenser – Transfers the heat to a hot water tank for the heat distributor.

Air Source Heat Pumps3. Heat distribution system - Under floor heating or radiators to transfer the heat to spaces and the hot water system.

Air Source Heat Pumps

HeatPumpAir source heat pumps take energy from the air and increase it to a higher temperature. The air is drawn across a water / antifreeze mix which transfers the energy into the refrigerant. When the refrigerant reaches boiling point gases are produced from the reaction and the system then compresses them, to produce the temperature required for a heat exchanger to transfer the heat for use. The heat is transferred to either water – for radiators or under floor heating, or to air which fans disperse around the space.

When used as heating systems for the home, heat pumps are often used in combination with underfloor heating, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and good quality double glazing.

ETF – Environmental Transformation Fund

Further grants are available for heat pump installations in schools, hospitals, housing associations and not-for-profit organisations. The source of this grant is the Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF). This grant is part of the drive to encourage the use of energy efficient technologies. The grant values can be very substantial; organisations can apply for unto £1 million of grant funding per site.

Grants for Microgeneration Technologies

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has a low carbon buildings programme. This programme provides grants for householders to encourage the adoption of microgeneration technologies. These microgeneration technologies include wind turbines, solar water heating, heat pumps and bioenergy.

CERT – Carbon Emissions Reduction Target

As part of the Government’s CERT scheme (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) residential grants are available to assist with the cost of installing ground source heat pumps. In Scotland, the Scottish Community Renewables Initiative (SCHRI) provides grants covering up to 30% of the overall installation costs of either ground sourced or air source heat pump installations.
Heat Pump Manufacturers

Manufacturers of heat pumps include Goodman and Kensa Engineering.


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