In off-gas areas, a number of electric systems can be considered to provide end users’ water heating needs. Air source technology has become particularly popular, with organisations such as the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) having already made heat pump training available to its members. Couple this with the recent Energy Saving Trust (EST) study, which revealed heat pump performance has improved following recommendations to design, installation and operation, the technologies certainly appeal to electrical contractors and their customers.
Now, when air source heat pump (ASHP) technologies are specified and installed correctly, they provide end users with significant energy and cost savings. ASHPs are proving to be one of the most prominent heat sources on the market, and their stock continues to rise following their inclusion in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which (at the time of writing) commences in spring 2014.
The ability for these technologies to be integrated easily into existing properties is another reason for their popularity, alongside their versatility, functionality and low running costs. However, they do require an additional, dedicated storage cylinder, and have also attracted some criticism in terms of being suitably sized and for producing unwanted noise. Fortunately, these issues have all been eliminated via the advent of heat pump water heaters. These ‘adapted technologies’ focus exclusively on renewable hot water production, and are perfectly suited to properties in off-gas areas.
In fact, Ariston is leading the way in this renewable technology, having pioneered the NUOS heat pump water heater with an integrated unvented cylinder. This provides quick and efficient hot water delivery, high CoPs – and is a sustainable alternative to traditional electric storage water heaters. Plus, these units can be sited with ease, while reducing household utility costs.
Furthermore, we have conducted an in-depth study of our NUOS heat pump water heater and compared its costs to other forms of water heating. The data has unearthed some staggering results, revealing a floor-standing unvented cylinder with integrated air source heat pump to be over £400 cheaper to run than electric-only products! On top of that, it is also significantly lower in price when compared to LPG and oil-fired systems.
It was calculated that NUOS has an annual cost of £227 to heat 200-litres of domestic hot water, which is only slightly higher than a gas boiler. The real revelation, however, is that compared to electric heating – which has an annual cost of £635 – as well as LPG (£339) and oil (£254), there is a clear benefit to installing a heat pump water heater, either as a direct replacement for electric-only hot water storage, or in conjunction with an LPG or oil-fired heating system.
In light of the numerous government incentives and emissions targets, the future looks bright for heat pump water heating. Electrical contractors should fully embrace the technology and bring its many benefits to both their businesses and their customer base.