The building development company Malhomes approached Ramki with a new-build domestic property in need of a heating and Hot Water solution. The house consisted of 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a basement and a cinema, and had a footprint of 450 sq meters. However there was no permanent gas supply in place, and new line in would have cost £40,000.
The consultation affirmed that though Oil and LPG were the most obvious alternative, they would be expensive to run, and would have a far greater impact on the buildings carbon footprint. It was therefore resolved that a Heat Pump would offer the optimum balance of value, performance, and sustainability.
The merits of a ground source heat pump were many, and the overall savings were greater than with an air source, but the cost of ground works was restrictive at £15,000. Consequently, the ideal solution was deemed to be an air source heat pump, which extracts enough heat from the outside air to heat the entire building, even in winter.
However, the client needed to be convinced the heat pump would be able to provide enough heat and hot water for the house when the weather was at its coldest. To build their confidence, the client was introduced to previous customers and shown a heat pump in operation. Talking to manufacturers and attending exhibitions helped them understand how the system would work, and by the time of installation they had adequate confidence in the technology’s proficiency.
Design and Install
Echome installed two 9kW Stiebel Eltron WPL16 air source heat pumps. One was dedicated to space heating, whilst the other also contributed to heating the hot water, with a buffer cylinder providing a constant and consistent heat supply.
Under-floor heating was chosen as it marries well with heat pumps. This is because it operates at low temperatures (40-45 degrees) and Heat Pump flow temperatures reach a maximum of about 55 Degrees. These temperatures are low compared to a gas boiler and radiator pairing which can emit temperatures in excess of 70 degrees, but provides more than enough heating throughout the seasons. Electrical back up was provided to reinforce the system at times of unusually high load.
A 500 litre hot water cylinder was installed with significant attention to the cold water supply. To ensure all bathrooms would be provided with sufficient water pressure, Echome installed an accumulator on the cold water inlet. The hot water has a separate immersion heater which is connected to the Stiebel Eltron heat pump manager, this will guarantee the hot water will reach 60 degrees at least once a day preventing harmful bacteria such as legionella disease from proliferating.
A Stiebel Eltron Heat Pump Manager was installed to control the entire system, with sensors in various parts of the pipe work controlling the temperature throughout. The system is linked to a weather compensator, which senses the outside temperature and adjusts heat output accordingly, optimising efficiency by synergising with climatic conditions. Ultimately these complex controls enable the system to automatically regulate internal temperatures to maximise both efficiency and crucially comfort.
The system works perfectly, and for a large domestic house the cost savings are already apparent. When the property passed to new ownership, the new tenant was able to very readily acclimatise to the renewable heat system and has happily continued to enjoy its various benefits. As always Ramki Heating is on hand to help with any questions regarding the heat pump’s operation, and offers continuing care and support regarding any issues that may arise.
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