• Heat Pumps

    The art of lifting heat

The Commercial Heat Pump

The simplest way to describe the technology behind heat pumps is as the opposite end of a refrigerator: where a refrigerator uses electricity to provide cooling, a heat pump is the other side of the system, using a small amount of electricity and the ambient surrounding temperature to provide heating.

The heat pump system takes heat from the ambient air, ground or water to provide space or water heating; whence arise the names of the three types of heat pumps: air source heat pumps (ASHP), ground source heat pumps (GSHP), and water source heat pumps (WSHP). There are relative merits of each, and your site will strongly influence which is best for you.

IS HEAT PUMP INSTALLATION EASY?

This answer depends on the type of heat pump: air source heat pumps are relatively easy to install; ground source heat pumps are a more difficult installation as this involves digging into the ground to place bore holes or trenches, which will be covered over once the system has been placed in the ground. Installation can take anywhere between 1 day to a couple of weeks, depending on the system chosen and its size.

DO WE NEED PLANNING PERMISSION?

The majority of heat pump systems, air or ground source, do not require planning permission. However, for ground sourse heat pumps it is possible that other permits are needed. Read more on our planning permission guidance page.

HOW DO THE GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES WORK?

By installing a ground or water source heat pump system, you are eligible to apply for the government RHI  (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme, which pays you for generating your own heat. To receive the payments, you need to apply to the scheme, with which Prescient Power are more than ready to assist.

HOW DOES A HEAT PUMP GENERATE HEAT?

The technology behind a heat pump is quite, well, technical. In the heat pump system there is a refrigerant, and this refrigerant absorbs heat from the source (air, ground, or water). A compressor, powered with electricity, greatly increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant, which is then used to heat up the air or water in your buildings.

DOES IT INTEGRATE WITH OUR HEATING SYSTEM?

Heat pumps generally produce water at lower temperatures than building central heating systems, so they are best integrated in new builds, with underfloor heating, or larger low temperature radiators. However, if heat is required for another purpose, then the temperature could be appropriate and simple to integrate.

HOW DOES THE METERING WORK?

In order to receive the RHI payment, you must meter the heat you produce in terms of kWh of thermal energy, and this total is used to calculate your RHI tariff payment.

HOW MUCH WILL A HEAT PUMP COST?

The size of the system is the most critical factor in determining the system cost.  However, as you cannot export heat to a heating grid, the sizing of a heat generating system is somewhat trickier than an electrical one; the system must be sized to closely match your heating needs, to avoid wasting the excess heat that you don’t use. To get an idea of the figures involved, please contact us for a free quote and initial advice about your best options.