The future of ground source heat pumps is inverter based!
Find out more about about how these revolutionary heat pumps can save you space and money!
As another winter season approaches, our thoughts inevitably turn to heating our homes and the ever increasing cost of this. Although gas and electricity prices have been fairly stable for a while now (falling approximately 2% each year from 2013-2015) oil prices albeit low, are typically volatile. The current scenario, which sees steadlly rising prices both at the garage forecourt and in our oil tanks, seems to be subject to almost random influences. Factors such as a strategic energy partnership between Russia and the Saudis which may limit oil output in the future, and oscillating production costs in smaller oil fields such as the North Sea and US shale oil production only reinforce this. So whilst those of you whose homes are heated by an oil boiler, may breathe a sigh of relief at the moment - it could be short lived!
This is where air and ground source heat pumps come into their own - not just in terms of the stability of their running costs, but also in fuel efficiency. We have been installing quite a few Nibe air source heat pumps recently, as an alternative to oil for our off-grid clients. These have a relatively low capital outlay cost (especially after the RHI government grant is factored in), high performance efficiencies, and come with a seven year warranty. They also look pretty sleek and are almost silent running - in short we like them!
Shown above is the highest capacity Nibe air source heat pump (16kW) installed recently at the rear of a large family home. For more information see here.
As with any complex system comprising of numerous parts - some individual components are relatively unknown. A good example of this is the humble manifold chamber - an essential but low profile part of a ground source system (they are usually buried in the ground!)
A manifold chamber takes all of the pipes carrying the heat from the ground (usually 6 ports, but can be as many as 20 ) and converts them to two larger header pipes which go on to the heat pump itself.
We are increasingly being asked to quote for the installation of Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery systems (MVHR). Self builders will be only too aware that in their quest for better insulated and air-tight properties, building regulations are becoming ever more stringent and in order to comply with Part F for ventilation there is often a requirement to install MVHR.
The basic principle of MVHR is that it sucks warm stale air out of kitchens and bathrooms etc, extracts the heat to reuse, and feeds filtered fresh air back into the room. Although there is an extra cost involved, it does ensure an indoor air quality which "feels" like the outside, as well as moisture and odour management. It also avoids the need for trickle vents in windows - which as well as being irritatingly primitive, can look tacky!
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