Decarbonisation of UK Homes – Hybrid Heat Pumps could be the answer


There are currently calls for credible low carbon alternatives to heat our homes. Richard Bishop, Head of Marketing UK & Ireland Panasonic Heating & Cooling addresses the matter and puts forward the case for a hybrid air source heat pump solution:

As mains gas is due to be phased out by 2035, the race to find alternative solutions has ramped up. Consumers could be forgiven for being confused as to the strengths (and weaknesses) of a raft of new Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) being put forward as an alternative energy source to mains gas, oil, LPG and electric heaters. There are pros and cons to all these solutions, but one thing often overlooked, is that ASHP technology is available right now and is a truly low carbon technology, whereas other technologies are still in their infancy.

To make the switch to a low carbon solution easier for homeowners, Panasonic has developed a hybrid ready solution that integrates the low carbon technology of an air source heat pump to work in combination with traditional gas boiler technology. This solution automatically switches between energy sources to provide optimum performance and energy efficiency all year round. Faced with the increasing cost of gas, by choosing a hybrid solution, homeowners should see a reduction in their energy bills as well as increased operational lifetime of both their systems, as neither system will be working all the time. The wide range of Panasonic air source heat pumps is all now hybrid-ready providing a wide choice in units. Homeowners could also take advantage of either the current RHI Grant or the new Clean Heat Grant of £5,000 from March 2022.

Whilst alternative solutions to fossil fuels are being discussed today, Air source heat pump technology is already in use and widely available now. When the outside ambient air is ideal, the system goes into heat pump mode, the system uses the free, kinetic energy in the ambient air, these low carbon technology heat pumps create, store and use the energy required on site – to provide sufficient heating, hot water and cooling (certain units only) to heat or cool our homes on demand, delivering what is needed, when it is required, and with little to no energy wastage.

Energy Efficiencies

If we look at our current gas boilers – the heating loads currently modulate at 14-22 kW. A 20-kW gas boiler will generate a minimum of 7kW when you might not need it. A heat pump will invert from zero to its full output – that’s what an inverter does in a heat pump, it generates the power you need, when you need it. Air source heat pumps are far more energy efficient than current gas boilers. A gas boiler or LPG system uses approx. 7.2kW of energy per litre, whereas a heat pump has around five times the output to the input depending on the type of heat pump and the temperature at which the heat pump is set.

As homes become better insulated to help become net zero and the climate warms up, more homes going forward are going to also need cooling – air source heat pumps can do both if needed.

In conclusion, if we are to meet the UK Government net zero targets by 2050, the mandate going forward is with a viable solution such as heat recovery and heat pumps along with good quality insulation. Heat Pump technology is proven and available today, whereas other options are still in the early and initial stages and will no doubt develop further over the next 15-20 years before confidence and reliability in the technology is fully integrated and adopted for wider usage.

Find out more about Panasonic low carbon solutions here:

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