Kensa launches Shoebox NX – a small, high-performance heat pump

Kensa has launched its new small and powerful Shoebox NX Ground Source Heat Pump.

Kensa’s solution for a mass heat pump rollout is Networked Ground Source Heat Pumps, which replicates the familiarity and accessibility of gas networks, bringing low-cost renewable heating and cooling to almost any type of home, whether that’s a new build, a 19th-century Victorian terrace, a tenement or a high-rise urban flat.

One-third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heat, and 6.5 million homes are estimated to be in fuel poverty. Kensa‘s solution will boost heat pump installations, shielding millions from unpredictable energy costs by replacing imported gas with domestically produced renewable electricity.

Tamsin Lishman, Kensa Heat Pumps CEO, said:

“This is a game-changing heat pump designed for the UK. Until now, achieving mass heat pump rollout has been a complex challenge, but with the launch of our Shoebox NX, we’ve engineered a small, high-performance heat pump that’s ready to replace gas as the main home heating choice.

“When combined with our Networked Ground Source Heat Pumps solution, it unlocks cosy homes in the winter and cooler homes in the summer for almost anyone, and at low costs to the consumer.

“For 25 years Kensa has been pioneering Ground Source Heat Pump technology, and with the Shoebox NX we’re ready to deliver heat pumps for everyone, cut household carbon emissions and make green home heating a reality.”

John Bromley, Managing Director – Clean Energy Strategy & Investments at Legal and General Capital, said:

“Housing requires some of the most substantial and immediate overhauls of any industry to improve standards, reduce running costs for consumers, and to reach net zero. The Kensa Group’s highly efficient, networked ground-source heating and cooling will play a key part in this transition.

“As an experienced energy transition investor, we are proud to be supporting Kensa’s growth and we are delighted to see the launch of their latest ground-breaking Shoebox NX heat pump, a culmination of years of expertise and development.

“We share Kensa’s ambition to deliver reliable, efficient heating solutions for consumers, developers, housing providers, and more – taking us a step closer to decarbonising UK properties at scale.”

Shoebox NX heat pump performance facts and figures:

  • Small and compact, but packs the power and efficiency of large heat pumps – making the most efficient and lowest carbon form of heating accessible to properties with limited space.
  • High efficiency, low electricity usage and low maintenance deliver long-term cost savings for consumers compared to air source heat pumps, and even gas boilers.*
  • Is five times more efficient than a gas boiler – Coefficient of Performance of 4.36** (gas boilers typically operate at 0.9).
  • Has an A+++ energy efficiency rating and a 25-year life expectancy.
  • Can heat water to over 60oC without the need for an immersion heater.
  • Can provide passive cooling to cool homes during the summer at a much lower cost than air-conditioning.
  • Designed to work in flats, apartments, terraced houses, tenements and new build properties.

Networked ground source heat pump findings:

  • Mimicking the gas network model, privately funded infrastructure lowers the upfront installation costs, with consumers paying a standing charge as part of their energy bill to connect to a shared ambient heat network, giving them access to low-cost, low-carbon heat.
  • Individual and independently controlled ground source heat pumps fitted inside each property are connected to the shared ambient heat network, a form of fifth-generation district heating.
  • Networked Ground Source Heat Pumps are up to 20% cheaper to run than air-source heat pumps, whilst upfront costs are 8% less when installed at scale as part of a funded heat network:
    • For a typical 3-bed Victorian terraced house, a networked ground source heat pump can cost £900 (8%) less than an air-source heat pump to install due to its smaller size and the lack of external installation work required.
    • Due to their higher efficiency, lower maintenance and longer life expectancy, the annual costs of running a networked ground source heat pump are up to 20% lower than an air-source heat pump.
  • Networked ground source heat pumps consume 40% less electricity to provide the same heat as air source equivalents, reducing peak strain on the grid.
  • Networked ground source heat pumps are the decarbonisation solution for 60% of UK homes.

Kensa’s Shoebox NX is the latest development in ground source heat pump technology and delivers the efficiency of a large heat pump, in one that’s small enough to fit in a cupboard.

Designed with mass heat pump rollout and ease of installation in mind, factory production of the NX can be readily scaled up to deliver 30,000 per year, with further expansion planned, and can be easily fitted by most heating and plumbing engineers without extensive training.

Networked ground source heat pumps are a proven, scalable solution, which have next to no above-ground presence and are already providing clean heating for new build homes and complex-to-decarbonise private and social retrofit properties.

Kensa’s model is designed to be as familiar and as accessible as the gas network and, once the infrastructure is deployed, allows households to connect at a time that suits them.

With the Future Homes Standard, which is set to effectively ban gas boilers in new build homes from 2025, and the Government’s target to deliver 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, UK heat pump installations are set to rapidly increase.