Heat pumps are growing in popularity as they improve the efficiency of energy systems and can reduce bills by up to 26%.
The Government’s incentive of a £5000 grant to households who switch from a gas boiler to a heat pump has also seen them become a key topic of conversation for installers and end-users.
Heat pumps can be a costly investment that need to be protected. So, what can be done to protect and maintain the efficiency of these systems? Stephanie Allchurch, Product Development Manager at Altecnic, looks at how:
The 108 Anti-freeze valve and how it works
The 108 Anti-freeze valve is designed to be installed in the flow and return pipe work from the heat pump and installed on the external pipework. By opening at temperatures below 3C, the Anti-freeze valve allows system content to be dripped and discharged safely, preventing the system from freezing.
At temperatures above 4C, the valve then shuts to stop unnecessary draining. Overall, it does exactly as it implies, it prevents the freezing of heat pumps and pipework. With the valve designed specifically for heat pump installation, it is compact and easy to install.
Even for installations in areas that are especially exposed – those that are usually hit hardest by freezing – the Anti-freeze valve can continue to function efficiently. The Anti-freeze valve becomes especially useful in the coldest months as it helps to save thousands of pounds in having to replace frozen installations by maintaining the heat pump and pipework.
Protection and optimisation
When the heat pump installation is protected, it can then be optimised to work as efficiently as possible. Efficiency within the system relies on the ‘start-up’ period of the heating cycle being correctly balanced thus preventing it pulling an excessive amount of energy. If a heat pump installation were to draw a large amount of energy, then the end user should expect there to be a negative impact on the operation of the entire system.
Independently managing flow rates
Any system that has a heat pump as its energy source would benefit from installing an automatic dynamic balancing valve. By accurately managing the flow rates throughout the heating circuit using a flow settable, pressure independent, thermostatic radiator valve (TRV), an Installer can optimise their design and ensure each part of the system receives the correct amount of energy independently thus increasing the working life of the compressor within the heat pump.
In addition, any hydronic circuit serving a secondary system must be balanced, meaning that they must be constructed in such a way as to guarantee the design flow rates of the thermal medium. Due to this, specific balancing devices are required.
Automatic dynamic balancing
Automatic dynamic balancing and pressure-independent adjustment of the heating system is vital for heat pump optimisation. The DYNAMICAL® Thermostatic Radiator Valve allows the automatic dynamic balancing and pressure-independent adjustment of the heating system. The device, with a
thermostatic, electronic, or thermoelectric control, combines different functions in a single component.
The valve can balance the heating system automatically, ensuring each terminal receives the set flow rate. Even in the case of partial circuit closure, by means of the regulating valves, the flow rates in the open circuits remain constant at the set value- a vital feature when being installed on systems powered by heat pumps.
By using the Dynamical® TRV, in combination with thermostatic control heads, the surrounding temperature can remain automatically constant, thus guaranteeing effective energy saving.
Getting the most out of your heat pump installation
Both the installation of the Anti-freeze valve and the installation of the Dynamical® TRV protects the end user’s investment and the installer’s hard work. Given the installation costs of renewable technologies compared to standard gas or oil installations, the benefits of a relatively small outlay to protect this investment are clear.
Furthermore, both installers and end-users can get the most out of their heat pump installations by utilising these products.
For more information, please visit: www.altecnic.co.uk