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Ecodan – Domestic Air Source Heat Pump Systems

Ecodan – Domestic Air Source Heat Pump SystemsGround source heat pumps and the high efficiency levels they offer have been well known for some time. The lesser known air source heat pumps can also offer significantly higher levels of efficiency in comparison to traditional home heating systems.

Air source heat pumps are much easier and far less costly to install than ground source, making them a far better option for many homes.

Converting Energy From Air into Home Heat

The Ecodan air source heat pump system has an external box which is fitted to the outside wall. The box harvests renewable, low grade energy from the outdoor air and upgrades this into useful heat. This heat is then used to provide the home with hot water and heating.

Ecodan units are highly efficient; for every 1kW of electricity fed into an Ecodan air source heat pump system, it will produce at least 3kW of heating energy. Remarkably, the Ecodan air source heat pump system can work efficiently all year round – even if the outdoor temperature falls as low as -25ºC.

The Ecodan range of air source heat pump systems have been developed by Mitsubishi Electric specifically for the UK market. This air sourced heat pump system brings advanced, inverter-driven technology refined from application in the commercial heating sector, to the domestic market.

How Ecodan Air Sourced Heat Pumps Work

The technology inside the air source heat pump is similar to that in a domestic refrigerator, using a vapour compression cycle. The main components in the air source heat pump are the compressor, the expansion valve and two heat exchangers one for evaporation, one for condensation.

  1. The refrigerant in the evaporator is colder than the heat source (the outside air). This causes the heat to move from the heat source (the outside air) to the refrigerant, which then evaporates.
  2. This vapour then moves to the compressor, where it reaches a higher temperature and pressure.
  3. The hot vapour then moves to the condenser and emits heat as it condenses.
  4. Finally, the refrigerant moves to the expansion valve where its temperature and pressure falls; and it returns to the evaporator.

Ecodan – Domestic Air Source Heat Pump Systems

Ecodan Domestic Air Source Heat Pumps In Operation

Ecodan air source heat pumps are ideal for use in a wide range of domestic dwellings. Ecodan’s specially developed control system is designed to work perfectly to provide hot water to either traditional radiators or alternatively, to domestic under floor heating systems.

Highly Efficient Home Heating Option

Ecodan Domestic Air Source Heat PumpsEarlier heat pumps have been used only for under floor heating. Now, its advanced control system enables Ecodan to provide optimum variable flow temperature control. This means that hot water can be fed to radiators making Ecodan a very efficient home heating option.

Capacity control in radiator systems, with a fixed flow temperature is controlled by Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV). These valves operate by turning the radiators on and off to maintain the desired comfort level.

So at 2°C, with 45°C flow temperature, the radiators will be on 50% of the time and off for the other 50% of the time. The Ecodan system will vary the flow temperature automatically, based on the ambient temperature, to keep the house warm. By operating at these lower flow temperatures, the efficiency of the heating system is increased considerably.

Variable Flow Temperature – Reduced Energy Consumption

Energy savings of more than 30% are achieved by using a heat pump with a variable flow temperature, as opposed to a fixed flow temperature. When installing a heat pump with a fixed flow temperature of 45ºC, annual running costs for a three bedroom house are comparable to a traditional gas boiler.

However, if variable flow temperature control with radiators are used, the savings on running cost are over 20%. Savings are still greater for under floor heating systems.

Increased Comfort, Reduced Running Costs & Carbon Footprint

By using lower flow temperatures, a more consistent heat output is achieved, Ecodan thus offers a greater level of comfort, lower CO2 emissions and reduced running costs when used for heating the home. In comparison, high temperature radiators give on-off bursts of heat to maintain the desired room temperature.

Dwellings with suitably sized radiators can now benefit from a constant, controlled living environment, whilst enjoying reduced running costs and reducing their carbon footprint.

Ecodan Air Source Heat Pumps – Benefits Summary

The Ecodan air sourced heat pump system is designed to meet the demands of modern domestic hot water and heating requirements.

Simple to install, highly cost effective and with outstanding energy efficiency, the Ecodan air source heat pump system is ideal for designers, installers and users.

Ecodan Domestic Heating System –  Benefits summary:

  • 30 – 50% reduction in CO2 emissions
  • Helps to achieve Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes
  • Easy to install – self contained unit requiring only water and electric connections
  • No gas supply, flues or ventilation required
  • No groundwork or external pumps required
  • Single phase power supply with a low starting current
  • 3 phase option available (14kW)
  • Low running costs, low maintenance
  • Further running cost savings and CO2 reductions when used to feed under floor heating systems
  • Designed for domestic use
  • Low noise – market leading 45dBA at 1 metre, (based on a 5kW model)

Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) & Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Ecodan air source heat pump systems are suitable for properties from small flats, to large detached houses. Ecodan is also fully accredited for the Government’s Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

Ecodan single-phase low carbon residential water and space heating products are fully accredited for the Government’s Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). So too is the Ecodan 3-phase 14kW model.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) requires MCS approved products and installers to access a funding stream which is currently in the process of review.

Details on how installers can apply for MCS accreditation can be found on this webpage www.microgenerationcertification.org 

Ground & Air Source Heat Pumps – Commercial Heating

Ecodan Domestic Air Source Heat PumpsWorking toward the EU objective of increasing the use of renewable energy, the UK has committed to sourcing 15% of it’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. Businesses consuming large amounts of electricity must cut their use of energy. Stringent building regulations mean that that no new-build project will get planning permission without first demonstrating a significant use of renewable energy.
Implementing the UK Government’s commitment to zero carbon buildings, local planning authorities now specify use of renewable energy as a condition of planning being granted.

Energy Performance Certification for new and refurbished buildings

EPC was introduced in the UK to improve energy conservation in all new and refurbished properties. Since 2006, the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive has demanded that every building sold or leased has an Energy Performance Certificate.

Mitsubishi Renewable Heating Systems

Mitsubishi have developed a range of renewable heating systems specifically for use in commercial properties, using heat pump technology to deliver effective, low cost, low carbon heating for businesses. This technologically advance heat pump system compares favourably with traditional and also biomass heating systems.

  • Cost effective heating systems for new build and refurbishment
  • Heat sanitary hot water to 53°C without the need to boost

Renewable Heat Pump Technology is the Answer

The Mitsubishi systems uses proven heat pump technology to harness renewable energy from the air, ground or water, providing maximum heat for minimal energy.

These heat pump systems can deliver up to 5kW of heat for every 1kW of electricity consumed, offering up to 500% efficiency and a COP of 5; making them an ideal renewable heating solution.

How heat pump technology works

These heating systems require only a small amount of electricity to upgrade and move heat from one location to another. The heat is upgraded to a higher temperature using the refrigerant cycle and is then used to deliver efficient heat to any building via a ducted air or wet system.

  1. Compression: Refrigerant in its vapour state is compressed, heating the vapour to temperatures of 75ºC to 80ºC.
  2. Condensing: The hot pressurised refrigerant vapour is then passed through a heat exchanger. The vapour condenses into a liquid and the heat generated by this process is transferred to heat the air and/or water, to be used within the building.
  3. Expansion: The cooled refrigerant liquid is then passed through an expansion valve which reduces the pressure on the refrigerant allowing it to return to its normal state.
  4. Evaporation: Liquid refrigerant is passed through a second heat exchanger. Because refrigerant has a very low boiling point, as low as -50ºC, the refrigerant evaporates, absorbing heat energy from the surrounding environment – air, water or the ground.

Air to Water heat pump systems

Renewable energy is extracted from the outdoor air and indoor heat is delivered by using a wet system, such as radiators or an underfloor system.

Each indoor heat pump boiler is rated at 25kW and is available as a single unit, as a 50kW twin module, or a 75kW triple module. These modules can combine to make a single system of up to 200kW, multiples of which can then be installed to suit larger commercial heating applications.

Ground to water heat pump systems

Renewable energy is extracted from the ground or water and indoor heat is delivered using a wet system such as via radiators or an underfloor system.

Each indoor heat pump boiler is rated at 25kW and is available as a single unit, or as a pre-mounted and pre-piped 50kW twin module, comprising two 25kW indoor heat pump units and two 25kW heat pump boilers.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) extract heat from the outside air. This is then used to deliver heat to the building via a ducted air or a wet system.

Recognised as a renewable technology, air source heat pump outdoor units are located on the building roof or on the ground. Operating at outside temperatures as low as -20°C, air source heat pumps are ideal for use in any UK commercial