My Blog

Why doesn't everyone use a heat pump?Renewable energy

Posted by Adrian Thu, January 29, 2015 04:43PM


Blog imageSo what has happened to heat pumps in this country? When I decided to give up my gas qualification and install heat pumps i genuinely assumed that heat pumps would be the future and demand would provide me with a good income installing them. I was wrong.

Here i am 8 years later I have only installed a handful of them and the last one being 3 years ago I think the reasons for heat pumps not being mainstream are many but it still surprises me when you look abroad to Germany and see that 85 per cent of new build has a heat pump in one form or another.

The bottom line I feel is there is no real reason for most people in this country to have one and that's from me who know heat pumps correctly installed are fantastic. The reason is that most people don't give shit about renewable energy and the environment, they just want to know how much its going to cost them to have it installed and generally that is going to be a 'lot' more than a conventional boiler.

OK the long term gains are going to be good say in 10 years time, but how many people think that far ahead and more likely they will have moved house more than once in that time anyway.

The big stumbling block in all this is simple - electricity - and why it costs 3 times as much as Gas after all even the worst heat pump installation will be more energy efficient than a fossil fuel gas boiler polluting the atmosphere.

Only when the government gets of it's 'arse ' and starts to develop electric generation on a large scale effectively and bring the cost of it in line with gas prices will i have any hope of making a living form installing heat pumps.

And don get me started on the energy supplier gangster quangos, well not until my next blog.

Best performing heat pumps, are they worth it and which one is best?Heat Pumps

Posted by Adrian Fri, March 29, 2013 12:25PM

This articles intention hopefully, is to help clarify the reader as to whether a heat pump is worth considering and which manufacturer to choose. I have looked at some of the top brands of heat pumps and chosen Air to water heat pumps over Ground source to analyse, naturally ground source heat pumps are/should be far more energy efficient than Air source, but I won’t go into that here.

When you are trying to compare like-for-like between the manufacturers as I have found it can be confusing as they may and do use different parameters to demonstrate their efficiency, after all the only reason you are thinking of buying a heat pump is will it save you money? So, in looking at the different makes I kept it simple as you should and I used A2w35 as my benchmark which indicates its COP (coefficient of performance) when it was producing 35°C MWT (mean water temperature) with the outside air temperature at 2°C. Naturally when the air temperature is higher or lower the COP will be different such as if the air temperature was 7°C then the COP will be better.

Unfortunately I am not going to name the manufacturers as I can’t afford a lawsuit but it is easy enough for you to look up these performance figures for yourself or you can always contact me directly for an impartial view as an installer – www.subheat.co.uk . Other than the actual performance more of which later, what other factors need considering when choosing a heat pump? My view is it comes down to simply build quality of the product and the reputation and service you would expect from the manufacturers against the cost, when you are considering the purchase of such an expensive item.

The cost of heat pumps is the biggest barrier against going for this technology for most people unfortunately in comparison to conventional heating boilers, the cost we were hoping was to be made more palatable with the RHI (renewable heating incentive) but this looks not likely until sometime in 2014, so why should I buy one? I believe it come’s down to two reasons the first is its a ‘clean’ technology energy source being electrically driven and secondly and the major point is that it should be energy efficient and therefore reduce your fuel bills.

So back to A7w35 and my findings for this I have looked several heat pumps both ‘conventional’ and inverter driven around the 7Kw output range, the three key point to consider are heat output, power input and the COP it delivers at those temperatures – my conclusion to this is you pay for what you get, quality will always outweigh cost in the long run – as a case in point as I write this, I have received another phone call from a unhappy customer who had a ‘well known’ heat pump installed by his builder/plumber and it’s not doing what it is supposed to and would like for us to produce a report to confront his builder/insurance company.

This gives us all a bad name in the heat pump business, making heat pumps look as if they are not worth it when the truth is the exact opposite but only if you get the right product in the first place from installers who have the knowledge and design experience to give you helpful impartial advice to carry the installation and only if it is appropriate for your property. In conclusion do as much research and fact finding and talk to people who know and don’t rely on people who don’t!

Ground source heat pumps designHeat Pumps

Posted by Adrian Fri, March 29, 2013 12:24PM

Article coming very soon

Ground Source heat pumps costsHeat Pumps

Posted by Adrian Fri, March 29, 2013 12:23PM

Article coming very soon

How does a heat pump Work?Heat Pumps

Posted by Adrian Wed, March 27, 2013 12:41PM

The Heat pump principle.

The refrigerant in the heat pump evaporates (Boyle's Law) at low temperatures, the source energy whether air or water routes through the evaporator (heat ex-changer) where the refrigerant circulates. The refrigerant extracts the energy and the refrigerant changes from a liquid into a gas, a scroll compressor draws the refrigeration in and compresses it.

The increase in pressure raises the temperature. The compressor is is of a suction gas cooled designed so the energy/heat of the electric motor is not lost but reaches the downstream condenser together with the compressed refrigeration.

The refrigerant releases it's absorbed energy to the circulating system via the condenser to the circulating system to the hot water and heating circuit, The expansion valve deduces the pressure of the refrigerant for the process to start all over again.