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Adrian Troop, Sales & Marketing Director for Nu-Heat Underfloor & Renewables believes that the conclusions of the Energy Saving Trusts (EST) heat pump field trials serve to underline Nu-Heats existing procedures and policies. He assesses Nu-Heats capability in response to these conclusions.
When the report was made public in September the Trusts Head of Business Development Simon Green commented that the trials showed that heat pumps are very, very sensitive it is imperative they are designed to heat the relative load; if they are undersized or oversized, then the efficiencies are significantly reduced. Nu-Heat works tirelessly to ensure that maximum heat pump efficiency is achieved through good design and an understanding of the technology, says Adrian.
Yutaki ASHPNu-Heat designs and supplies complete packages ready for installation after establishing the most suitable system for each individual project. The first stage of the design process is to correctly size the heat pump by assessing the heat loss through full heat loss calculations. With a wide range of heat pumps available, including ground source (GSHP), air source (ASHP) and exhaust air (EAHP), Nu-Heat can specify the most appropriate model.
Requirements for the installation of ASHP are relatively simple – in essence space outside by a wall where they can be sited and space inside for the other system components. As a rough guide, installation of a GSHP requires space approximately 2.5 times the internal floor area of the property. If there is insufficient land, vertical boreholes can be drilled, dependent on ground and geological conditions. The heat pump needs to be housed inside with the other system components.
Nu-Heat takes a strong ethical stance, says Adrian, and where it is obvious that a heat pump will not work efficiently, such as in a badly insulated older property, we will explain why it is not a suitable solution. The most important issue is the quality of the building in terms of insulation. Ideally the building heat loss should be 35 40W/m – and if this isnt achievable then a heat pump is not likely to work efficiently.
In such a case, Nu-Heat will offer alternatives for installers to suggest to the customer, such as a condensing boiler partnered with underfloor heating (UFH), enhancing the efficiency of the boiler and giving a degree of fuel savings. Even for a well-insulated property, a GSHP might be the ideal, but the budget could indicate an ASHP as a cheaper but still effective choice.
Heat pumps work most efficiently with the lower temperatures of warm water UFH. UFH is core to Nu-Heats business, and the company has invested a great deal in understanding all the elements necessary to design a fully integrated system. This can also include solar thermal for domestic hot water. Nu-Heats solar design and sizing process uses its own unique calculation package to specify the ideal configuration of cylinder, solar collectors and ancillary components for the project,
One point of responsibility
ESTs report highlights the need for responsibility for the installation to be with one company. Nu-Heat offers total product support available in one place to any installer which is a great help to those considering heat pumps for the first time. Nu-Heat also offers on-site and commissioning support on the complete range of heat pumps, along with technical back-up via telephone and email and comprehensive installation and user manuals. By using one supplier there is assurance that all products and parts are compatible, making installation stress free and uncomplicated. Nu-Heat is also committed to the end user and part of our service is to make sure that customers understand how to control their heat pump system.
The report also flagged up the need for a review of installation guidelines and training. Nu-Heat saw the requirement for well-trained installers and opened a specialist training centre in 2008. Courses in heat pumps, solar thermal, photovoltaic and underfloor heating are NICEIC approved and focus on the principles and suitability of the technology. They cover the different models available, benefits, health and safety and the latest news on government grant funding.
MCS training in progress Successful completion of a course enables application for acceptance onto the NICEIC Competent Persons (CPS) register. Membership of the CPS means that installers are eligible to apply for their own Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) number so they can quote for work as both a competent person and a MCS approved installer. Nu-Heats umbrella scheme provides a simple route for installers committed to a business future in renewables to achieve MCS approved status.
When a renewables project has the benefit of first rate design, correct sizing and well trained installers a truly energy efficient system can be realized, says Adrian, and this is exactly what Nu-Heat is committed to achieving.