New London Architecture

Technical Briefing: Heat pumps

Wednesday 26 April 2023

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Hear from Samira Saravi and Daniel Smith from Mitsubishi Electric as they deliver a presentation on the role that commercial heating can play on the Road to Net Zero.
Heating accounts for almost a third of all UK carbon emissions, so changing how we heat our buildings is now critical to tackling climate change. 
Although modern heat pumps have been available for over a decade, the renewable heating market is still in its infancy. However, the ambitious targets and the need to tackle the climate crisis are why we need to find ways to apply heat pumps quickly. Heat pumps can now be used for almost any applications from homes, apartment blocks and heat networks, to offices, hospitals and even whole university campuses.
The presentation look's at the legislative drivers and regulatory challenges, touch on the Skidmore Report, look at the challenges in transitioning from fossil fuels to low carbon heating with examples, and also look at free CPD Guides and other useful information that is currently available.

Additional Questions

When retrofitting AHSP to existing buildings is there any upgrades required to the air tightness of the external walls and windows and is there a minimum level of air tightness which is needed to be achieved to make a ASHP viable? 
We would always recommend that a fabric first approach is taken, where the need to consume energy is reduced as much as possible, tis is just the right thing to do, and of course should be the case regardless of the heat generation used, but specifically for heat pumps, the lower the flow temperature that can be provided to achieve the load required the better as the efficiency of the heat pump in operation will be improved.
What technological advancements can we expect to see in ASHPs?
Research and development for heat pumps of all sizes and applications is an advanced and ongoing activity for us. You can expect to see further developments in the refrigerant used, meaning that its likely that specific requirements, such as hot water generation only or high flow temperatures will have specific refrigerants as part of the system to achieve the best efficiency. The balance between embodied carbon and operational carbon will also be an area of development in the years ahead
What is the average pay back period on a domestic ASHP installation over a gas boiler and what is the average life span of one of these units?
This is an interesting question, as while the equipment costs of a heat pump installation may be higher than a gas boiler that has historically been used, regulation, global pressures and UK and market specific drivers mean that continuing to use fossil fuels is not an option, or at least is the wrong option. Therefore to look at this change through the lens of payback would be short-sighted in our view. We would expect the unit if serviced and maintained a life expectancy of 15-20 years.
Once installed, how often do heat pumps need servicing? Are annual checked required as per gas boilers, and if so, does the UK currently have a skilled workforce to deliver this given the scale required?
We offer bespoke training services to the engineering community upskilling existing workforce, we have recently moved to a hybrid training course offering online and in person training in order to deliver this content to more and more frequently. We have bespoke training suites across the UK now to help upskill our workforce.  RE servicing – a yearly service is advised, we offer homeowners this option as a complete turnkey solution.

Net Zero


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