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View blog posts for category: Heat pumps

Get the best out of your air source heat pump in sub-zero temperatures

Posted by John Lightfoot on 4 January 2011 at 9:46 am

Get the best out of your air source heat pump in sub-zero temperatures

With temperatures more associated with Scandinavia than the UK, 2010 tested heating systems of all sorts in the UK, gas boilers and air source heat pumps included! Here are some of the problems have people reported over the past year and how can we avoid them being repeated as we go into 2011…

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When to consider using an air source heat pump

Posted by John Lightfoot on 8 December 2010 at 2:07 pm

When to consider using an air source heat pump

Air source heat pumps can be used in many applications for heating water, be it domestic (tap) water or the water used in for space heating. The first part of the decision process of whether I should consider using an air source heat pump to heat my house starts with – "why I am doi…

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Ground source heat pumps don't need immersion heaters

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 6 December 2010 at 11:52 am

Ground source heat pumps don't need immersion heaters

Would you install an 11kW boiler into a building with a 20kW load? No.  The same should be true of ground source heat pumps. Due to the constraints of the UK National Grid there are a number of large properties with single phase electricity, where the upgrade cost to three phase sup…

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An introduction to air source heat pumps

Posted by John Lightfoot on 12 November 2010 at 11:57 am

An introduction to air source heat pumps

I thought I would start my series of blogs on Air Source Heat Pumps with an explanation of how a heat pump works and how in particular how a Air Source Heat Pump works. If you want to look at the diagram alongside the text, double click on it to enlarge it. To start, just imagin…

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Heat pumps and underfloor heating: perfect partners?

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 1 November 2010 at 11:01 am

Heat pumps and underfloor heating: perfect partners?

Underfloor heating is often portrayed as the perfect partner for heat pumps. With its large heat emitting area and low input temperature requirements it seems to provide the ideal choice to offer the maximum efficiency from the heat pump. However, is that always the case? With any underfl…

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Common problems with Ground Source Heat Pumps

Posted by on 14 October 2010 at 10:14 am

Common problems with Ground Source Heat Pumps

A poorly designed and installed ground source heat pump system will, effectively, be heating a property on electricity alone, which is by far the most expensive solution on a unit-by-unit basis. So what are the common problems that befall GSHPs? 1.  Slinkies. A slinky, in heat pump…

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Common problems with Air Source Heat Pumps

Posted by Duncan McIntosh on 6 October 2010 at 9:35 am

Common problems with Air Source Heat Pumps

An Air Source Heat Pump is generally a simpler, more straightforward system, than its ground source cousin. An air source heat pump is best suited to houses that do not have sufficient room for ground collectors, have an outdoor pool or generally have a smaller heating requirement. Well i…

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Heat pumps: 7 top tips for installers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 September 2010 at 9:08 am

Heat pumps: 7 top tips for installers

"Many heat pumps appeared to be installed incorrectly." reports the Energy Saving Trust in its recent report on field trials into 83 installations of air source and ground source heat pumps. This is disheartening news, and we thoroughly endorse its recommendation that guidance to, and training of, i…

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Heat pump field trial: good or bad?

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 21 September 2010 at 12:02 pm

Heat pump field trial: good or bad?

Heat pumps don't work, so scrap the RHI, or Heat pump technology works well and we must pursue it. These are the two completely opposite views generated by the Energy Savings Trust's (EST) Heat Pump field trial. The report, Getting Warmer; a field trail of heat pumps has finally been relea…

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Heat pumps: 12 tips for people thinking of installing one

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 September 2010 at 10:03 am

Heat pumps: 12 tips for people thinking of installing one

Heat pumps are worth considering if your home is one of the 5 million or so that is off the gas grid, or in new build properties, according to new field trials from the Energy Saving Trust (EST). It offers the following advice for people thinking of installing a heat pump. 1.    Th…

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Heat pumps: field trials reveal good and bad installations

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 September 2010 at 9:17 am

Heat pumps: field trials reveal good and bad installations

The good news is that heat pumps can operate well in the UK, as long as they are well-designed and installed, and the customer understands how to use the controls. The bad news is that the Energy Saving Trust’s (EST) field trial of 83 heat pumps found that isn’t always the case. System effici…

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Renewable Heat Incentive: yes please, but with changes

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 9 July 2010 at 11:16 am

Renewable Heat Incentive: yes please, but with changes

First let's get something straight. I think the renewable heat incentive (RHI) is a good idea. Rewarding people for their contribution to reducing carbon emissions is great and will stimulate the market. However, in its current form the RHI may not reduce emissions, and due to lack of Government cla…

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Eco-renovation transforms Devon village hall

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 30 June 2010 at 9:02 am

Eco-renovation transforms Devon village hall

With thick insulation, ground source heat pumps feeding underfloor heating, and solar panels on the roof to power the heat pump, Branscombe village hall in East Devon must be one of the most energy efficient in the country. However, managing an ambitious project like this wasn't an easy task. It …

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Renewable Heat Incentive: 'deeming' explained

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 22 June 2010 at 10:53 am

Renewable Heat Incentive: 'deeming' explained

In the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the calculation of how much will be paid for renewable heat production depends on the installation type, as follows: Small scale installation, such as in a home: each installation's entitlement is calculated by multiplying the payment per kW…

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Renewable heat incentive: important, but with dangers

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 17 June 2010 at 1:03 pm

Renewable heat incentive: important, but with dangers

The uptake of renewable heat technologies has really dropped off with the renewable heat incentive (RHI) still looming, but no confirmation of the final tariffs or criteria, and the recent removal of the LCBP grants. No doubt things will pick up once the RHI details have been announced there.…

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Ask your MP for clarity about the Renewable Heat Incentive

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 June 2010 at 9:44 am

Ask your MP for clarity about the Renewable Heat Incentive

No one can confidently say that renewable heat is a good investment right now, as we don't know whether or not the promised renewable heat incentive will be introduced in April 2011 as laid out by the former Labour government. Making a significant investment when you can't confidently calculate the …

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Uncertainty ahead as Low Carbon Building Programme is cut

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 May 2010 at 12:31 pm

Uncertainty ahead as Low Carbon Building Programme is cut

The Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) grants scheme closed to new applications on Monday. We're calling on the Government to act quickly to eliminate the state of uncertainty facing  consumers and the renewable heat industry as a result. The cut came as part of the Department of Energ…

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Heat pumps: 10 things a good installer should ask

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 24 May 2010 at 12:20 pm

Heat pumps: 10 things a good installer should ask

Finding an installer for a renewable energy technology should be a straight forward exercise. With all the certification an installer has to meet, such as the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), to enable a client to access grants, the installer has to know what they are talking about and be…

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MCS explained, plus quick guide for wannabe installers

Posted by John Martin on 14 May 2010 at 9:58 am

MCS explained, plus quick guide for wannabe installers

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) appears to be suffering in a similar way as the Gas accreditation scheme did  when it was introduced. It is shrouded in mystery, with rumour-mongers spreading the word that 'none shall pass' and that 'its only for large companies'. This situatio…

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Five energy sources for heat pumps

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 10 May 2010 at 10:02 am

Five energy sources for heat pumps

A number of energy sources can be used as the heat source for heating buildings. Most commonly, heat pumps draw heat from the air or from the ground. The heat drawn from the ground is, in most cases, stored solar heat, and should not be confused with geothermal heat, though the latter wil…

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