How proven renewable technology will provide heating and hot water to UK homes

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With recent announcements from government about the decarbonisation of heating in the UK, the spotlight has been trained on the use of proven renewable technology to provide our heating and hot water.

Heat pumps have seen a huge take up in northern Europe, Scandinavia and Canada – all of which experience far worse winters and lower temperatures than we do in the UK – and seem set to grow in importance here.

One of the leading proponents of heat pump technology is the well-known and recognised brand LG Electronics, a name best known probably for its consumer products (mobile phones, TVs and white goods) and increasingly for a wide range of HVAC products, most notably, its Therma V air to water heat pumps, which saw a 100% increase in sales last year.

Air to Water Heat Pump (AWHP) systems – monoblocs or splits – present a variety of energy-saving options for a home’s heating and hot water system. By replacing a traditional gas, oil, or solid fuel system, an AWHP can significantly reduce carbon emissions and energy usage.

These devices absorption of natural energy from external air makes them consume less energy than conventional heating systems. And they can operate successfully at low temperatures – the LG Therma V split has 100% capacity at temperatures as low as -7°C – and it’s very rare for temperatures in the UK to go that low even for a day each year.

The terms ‘Split’ and ‘Monobloc’ refer to how the system is required to be set up in a home.

A Monobloc is a bit like a combi boiler and is literally a ‘single block’ system, where the heat pump has all of its components – apart from the hot water cylinder which is installed inside the property – located inside a heat pump unit situated outside the home. Because a monobloc does not require someone with F Gas qualifications to get involved in the use of refrigerants, they are an excellent additional strings to the bow of most professional heating installers who after attending a relevant training course will be well placed to join the growing band of installers that will be required to swell the numbers of people capable of installing these excellent heating systems here in our home market.

A Split heat pump unit has both an outside unit which incorporates the heat exchanger and refrigerant and an internal unit which sits inside the property, usually in a utility or boiler room.

Most homes in the UK are ideal for a Monobloc air to water heat pump. A Split system is an option generally for more complex installations and it can be installed up to 30m away from the home, which gives far more installation flexibility.

According to the MCS Installation Standard, low temperature air to water heat pumps produce an indoor heat exchanger outlet temperature of 35°C, medium temperature an outlet temperature of 55°C, and high temperature air to water heat pumps an outlet temperature of 65°C.

These systems don’t produce water as hot as a traditional boiler will, as they generally only reach around 50°C at a maximum. They are perfectly suited to new build homes that tend to be well insulated. To be at their most effective, they operate well with either larger capacity – possibly K3 design – radiators or a higher number of radiators and or underfloor heating.

High temperature air to water heat pumps are designed for poorly insulated or particularly large properties and those where replacing existing radiators or improving the insulation in the home isn’t possible. These high temperature heat pumps, offered by a few manufacturers including LG, can heat water up to 80°C.

The new LG R32 Monobloc range has already had a massive impact on the residential heat pump market. The unit is compact, meeting permitted planning permission guidelines, has a low GWP and an energy rating label of A+++. The new Monobloc units incorporate a new Scroll Type Compressor with a seasonal efficiency improvement of 7% over the previous rotary compressor.

For more information on the LG Therma V range and on the training available for installers wanting to install these excellent heating alternatives, contact LG by emailing aircon.sales@lge.com or aircon.training@lge.com or head to www.lg.com/uk/heating or www.lg.com/uk/heating-awhp.

 

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