Tag Archives: heating

Home Heating Heroes Do It Best!

Joe Durkan, EEOS Programme Manager, SEAI

Plumbers and installers are the “go-to” guys in these situations. Whether it is emergency repairs, upgrades or a completely new installation, homeowners rely on their knowledge and expertise to advise them on the right approach. They represent the interface between  the home owner and the wider world of energy efficiency. They have become, in a sense, energy ambassadors.

This is because, in order to ensure that the heating system is correctly specified, the plumber first needs to be able to accurately determine the actual heating demand of the home based on the details of the property and the needs of the occupant. This is where a great opportunity lies, because in order to calculate the heating load, the specifier needs to assess the building fabric, ventilation system and existing distribution system in the dwelling.

In the case of new or yet to be built dwellings, all of the information to determine this data should be readily to hand. Details of the construction, such as the levels of insulation, build type, ventilation systems etc, should all be known and these, in conjunction with the Building Energy Rating (BER) heat loss calculations, will help accurately determine what the heating requirement will be.

However, the majority of heating system installations are more likely to fall into replacements or upgrades. In these cases, especially when a BER isn’t readily available, the specifier has to determine the heating demand the old fashioned way. CIBSE’s Domestic Heating Design Guide (www. cibse.org/knowledge/knowledge-items/ detail?id=a0q20000008I7odAAC) is the key tool in these situations. The guide shows how to identify the principle heat loss areas in the dwelling, and how to calculate the relevant u-values, ventilation rates and distribution losses necessary to determine the heating requirements of each room and the overall hot water and space heating demand.

Minimising this overall heat demand is the key to an economical and efficient heating solution. Ultimately, the type of heat source is secondary to the more important considerations of ensuring that the heat demand can be met efficiently and economically, and that all elements are installed to the proper standards.

The information gleaned in the initial the homeowner could carry out, such as insulation or controls upgrades, that will reduce the overall heating demand. This is the opportune time to consider these works, and carrying them out in conjunction with the heating system upgrade will be more economical. The overall result will be greatly-improved levels of comfort and reduced heating bills (courtesy of the appropriately-sized heating system).

Almost certainly, the new heat supply (whether it’s a boiler, stove or heat pump) will require a lower rated heat output than the unit it is replacing. This is because the overall efficiency of heating appliances has improved dramatically over the last number of years. Therefore, it is vital that the installer accurately determines  the heat load required to ensure that  the replacement unit is correctly sized to operate at maximum efficiency.

Click on the image right and see full article on Pages 14 and 15.

Why heat pumps? — cost, comfort and the environment

Paul Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, Tipperary Energy Agency.

Paul Kenny, Chief Executive Officer,
Tipperary Energy Agency.

However, based on the heat road map for Europe that shows heat pumps are a core technology for decarbonising heat,and considering that 20% of Swedish homes are heated by heat pumps, it is clear that heat pump technology works, even in cold climates. This view is endorsed by many industry experts. So, why should someone install an air source heat pump to heat their home, and what are the key considerations? There are three reasons – cost, comfort and the environment — writes Paul Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, Tipperary Energy Agency.

First of all, I’d like to dispel some myths:

• Heat pumps (the majority of the Irish market players use R410a) work down to minus 20ºC;

• Ireland isn’t that cold, with average winter temperatures of 7ºC and the mean daily minimum above 2ºC all year round;

• Heat pumps work really well at 7ºC air temperature and 35ºC flow temperature (typically COP of 4.5 in the lab, and over 4 in real world applications);

• There is no need for a back-up immersion or boiler. We do generally ensure a high-efficiency stove is installed in our retrofitted buildings, but we find most people don’t use them with cheap even heat from the heat pump;

• Radiators are not radiators, they are really convectors, and they put out heat at all temperatures above the room temperature they are located in. So, if the boiler used to run for six hours and now runs for 24 hours, the flow temperature versus room temperature can come down by 75%, eg 60ºC to 30ºC (room at 20ºC);

• Heat pumps can heat water to 55ºC, and a top-up heating cycle using an existing immersion heater for legionella control uses a few kWh per annum when required.

The methodology employed by Superhomes is to design and install ASHPs into radiators that are oversized in comparison to typical radiators, i.e. low-temperature radiators. This allows a higher heat output at lower flow and return temperature. The design of the emitters allows the heat pump run at about 31ºC, 27ºC return at 7ºC external temperature. The heat pumps are commissioned to be “always on”, thereby maintaining a steady indoor temperature at the desired set point.

Therefore, the heat pump only needs to replace the energy that is lost from the building fabric – typically 2-3 kW at 7ºC. The resultant impact on the heat pump is that the required output per radiator is generally only 150-300w and minimises the flow temperature (maximising efficiency), resulting in typical heating (not hot water) performance of between 3.3 and 3.6 average co-efficient of performance throughout the heating season.

Using an average delivered energy cost of 11c/kWh (40% night and 60% day rate, bonkers.ie 14/01/17), this delivers heat at a little over 3.1c/kWh. Compare this to natural gas (86% efficiency and standing charge €92 split of 15MWh) of 6.4c/kWh, and oil (59c/l) at 9.2c/kWh delivered into the house. The ongoing heat cost is one third of oil and half that of gas. For those knowledgeable in energy price predictions, the likelihood of oil and gas rising versus electricity is likely to continue.

Hot water heating cycles typically rise from 30ºC flow temperature to 58-60ºC flow temperature and do have a lower co-efficient of performance than heating, typically about 2.4-2.6 over a season. This, usually completed at night for the bulk of heating (80% night (6.6c), 20% day (14c)) results in a net heat cost of 3.25c/kWh, similar to heating, and similar margins below the alternate fossil fuels.

In conjunction with the installation of an air source heat pump, and steady interior temperatures, air leakage must be reduced, ideally to an air change rate of 3-5 air changes per hour under 50 pascals of pressure, corresponding to an average rate of 0.15-0.25 air changes from infiltration in typical conditions.

Once this is achieved a designed ventilation system must be used. In the case of Superhomes, demand control ventilation is employed. This designed mechanical extract system ensures a steady, low and controlled flow of fresh air into the dwelling.

The impact of this commissioning to maintain a constant temperature in the dwelling has a number of “symptoms”. Steady air temperatures encourage walls to rise to a more even higher temperature, thereby lowering the radiative heat loss from people to surrounding surfaces and adding to the feeling of comfort. This also increases the interior temperature at thermal bridges, thereby increasing the dew point of condensation, and lowering the likelihood of condensation, mould and ill health. Coupled with the ventilation system, almost all the surveyed participants in Superhomes report that they have noticed a significant reduction in condensation.

Finally, the carbon performance of homes utilising heat pumps versus oil and gas should be understood in the context of steadiliy-decreasing carbon content of electricity. It is currently 467g CO2/ kWh of electricity, 205 for natural gas, 257 for kerosene, 229 for LPG. Forecasting this to 2030, it is, in the absence of peat and coal thermal plants and with increasing renewable electricity, likely to be below 300g/kWh CO2. Utilising an average heating and hot water COP of 3.2 (this is being achieved on an annual basis in Superhomes houses) we can see that the carbon per net kWh of heat from a heat pump will be 145 in 2015 and 90g/ kWh in 2030, versus natural gas (86% efficient boiler) at 238, and 266 and 299 for LPG and kerosene heating oil respectively. So, this equates to a 39% and 58% cut today per net kWh and a 60-70% cut by 2030.

Without getting too technical, this also puts the carbon emissions of the individual houses into the European emissions trading scheme, which moves them from the state’s carbon balance sheet and also, in theory, in  a cap and trade marketplace, pushes out higher polluting carbon-intensive electricity sources.

In a new build situation, the marginal cost of installing a heat pump, appropriate cylinder and potentially larger radiators versus gas + connection or oil + tank is likely to be similar in cost to that of the photovoltaics required with the gas or oil boiler for compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations. The savings will ensure that even outside of compliance, investment will be returned in the first three to five years at worst.

The insulation or buffering from energy price increases is also worth some peace of mind. In terms of retrofit, the economic case is slightly less generous. The catch is that the cost of a retrofit of this nature – including the airtightness measures, the ventilation system and the heat pump – is unlikely to be less than €15,000. Over the next 20 years this is about €3.75 per heating day, gobbling up about 50% -70% of the savings. If we take energy price inflation into account, using the last 15 years as an indication of the next 15, this is likely to break even in 10 to 12 years. A 35% SEAI grant, available within the Superhomes programme, will bring this to seven to ten years.

So, economically home-owners will not win or lose in the short-term, but environmentally and from a comfort point of view, they will be significantly better off, as will their children going forward.

Baxi Potterton Myson Job Opportunities

Paul Clancy, Managing Director, Baxi Potterton Myson

Paul Clancy, Managing Director, Baxi Potterton Myson

Commercial Sales Advisor — Baxi Potterton Myson                                                       Baxi Potterton Myson is looking to appoint a Commercial Sales Order Processing Advisor to promote the sales of BPM products and warranty schemes, offer after sales/technical support, and trade awareness via marketing and other related sales/trade events. The Commercial Sales Order Processing Advisor will support the field-based sales team across the entire BPM product range covering all brands and solutions offered.

Key responsibilities include:-

— Sales order processing

— Promote BPM product ranges;

— Establish new customer relations while reinforcing existing trading partnerships;

— Provide technical support and after-saes service

— Promote the sale of BPM warranties;

Attractive Salary plus a performance bonus, contributory pension and 21 days annual leave outside of bank holidays.

Business Services Support — Baxi Potterton Myson                                                                                   Baxi Potterton Myson Ireland is looking to appoint a Business Services Support Advisor. This is a new position created to ensure the engineer workflow is managed efficiently.

The Business Services Support Advisor is a varied role, requiring an organised and confident mindset, and involving a customer interactive role.

Key responsibilities include:-

— Allocation of jobs to the engineering division;

— Identifying chargeable and none-chargeable events and liaising accordingly with customers;

— Managing commissioning work;

— Order processing and account queries;

— Assisting with the purchasing and sourcing of spares/parts;

— Assisting with stock level monitoring;

— Managing training courses.

Attractive Salary plus a performance bonus, contributory pension and 21 days annual leave outside of bank holidays.

To apply for either role email your CV to vacancies@baxi.co.uk

Panasonic strengthens Irish operation

Marc Overson, UK & Ireland Country Manager for Panasonic pictured with Vincent Mahony, National Account Manager, Panasonic Ireland.

Marc Overson, UK & Ireland Country Manager for Panasonic pictured with Vincent Mahony, National Account Manager, Panasonic Ireland.

Marc Overson, newly-appointed UK & Ireland Country Manager for Panasonic, visited Ireland recently to meet with consulting engineers, dealers and installers in the company of Vincent Mahony, National Account Manager, Panasonic Ireland.

Marc has extensive experience in building services, and the air movement sector in particular, having worked with many of the leading global market players in roles that took him all over Europe on a regular basis.

He will now use the wealth of knowledge accumulated during that time to provide support to the Irish operation and the team headed up by Vincent.

Wolf GmbH Appoints Peter O’Brien

Peter O'Brien, Technical Sales Manager, Ireland & UK, Wolf GmbH

Peter O’Brien, Technical Sales Manager, Ireland & UK, Wolf GmbH

Wolf GmbH has appointed Peter O’Brien, B.Eng, as Technical Sales Manager for Ireland and the UK. Peter has extensive experience in the industry and, in his new role, is responsible for developing the Wolf brand and establishing it as a “total system provider” with consultants and mechanical contractors.

Wolf GmbH is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of both domestic and commercial heating, ventilation, and combined heat and power units with all products manufactured at its Mainburg factory in Germany. “I’m delighted to join Wolf and look forward to developing the brand here. It is brilliant to be able to offer a total system solution to our clients”, said Peter.

Contact: Peter O’Brien, Wolf. Tel: 086 – 021 6992; email: peter. obrien@wolf.eu; www.wolf.eu

Mitsubishi Electric appoints Sean Campbell

Sean Campbell

Sean Campbell

Mitsubishi Electric Ireland has appointed Sean Campbell as Technical Pre-Sales Engineer for its Ecodan range of heating. Sean joined in April 2016 and has extensive experience in the industry, having spent 16 years working on project sales in heating and more recently in refrigeration and air conditioning. In his new role Sean will be responsible for developing customer support as Mitsubishi Electric strengthens its position in the heating market.

“Our Ecodan range of heat pumps are all A++ rated, meaning they are the best choice for meeting Part L compliance. Sean is enjoying the opportunities of supporting our customers as our heating division grows from strength to strength”, said Richard Sherlock, Field Sales Manager of the Air-Conditioning and Heating divisions for the Irish Branch.

Contact: Mitsubishi Electric Ireland. Tel: 01– 419 8800; email: sales.info@meir.mee.com; www.mitsubishielectric.ie

Brian Hennessy Joins Stelrad

Brian Hennessy, Stelrad Business Development Manager for Ireland

Brian Hennessy, Stelrad Business Development Manager for Ireland

Brian Hennessy has joined Stelrad as Business Development Manager for Ireland. Brian joins from Heat Merchants where he spent 12 years, having progressed from Senior Sales Assistant to Branch Manager.

“I’m delighted to have joined Stelrad at such an important time in the company’s development here in Ireland,” says Brian. “With the excellent product range, the incredible logistics expertise, quality manufacture, reliability and availability, Stelrad is going in only one direction in Ireland – definitely forward! I’m looking forward to being part of the team here.”

Contact: Brian Hennessy, Business Development Manager, Stelrad. Tel: 087 – 210 2530; email: brian.hennessy@stelrad.com

Increase in Grants for Energy Efficiency

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Alex White TD and Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland with homeowners Helen and Des Fox from Ballinteer who recently had their house insulated.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Alex White TD and Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland with homeowners Helen and Des Fox from Ballinteer who recently had their house insulated.

Minister for Energy, Alex White TD has announced a boost in the level of grants available to householders who want to undertake energy efficiency improvements. The cash value of every grant available to householders under the Better Energy Homes Scheme has been increased by between 25/50%. In addition, a bonus payment has been introduced which will see householders receive bonus payments if they complete three or more energy efficiency improvements.

The new grant levels are effective immediately and will apply to everyone who has applied for a grant that has not yet been paid.  The previous minimum grant threshold of €400 has been abolished and a bonus payment of €300 for householders who undertake three efficiency measures has been introduced, with an additional bonus payment of €100 available to householders who undertake four measures. The bonus payments are available to new applicants and to householders who have already availed of the scheme who wish to undertake further upgrades.

Under the revised scheme a family in a semi-detached house could benefit from a grant payment of up to €4700 for external wall insulation, a boiler and heating control upgrade, and cavity and attic insulation. A couple in an apartment could receive €3400 towards internal wall insulation, a boiler and heating control upgrade and the installation of solar thermal heating.

Specifically in relation to heating, the grant for a new gas/oil boiler installation with heating controls has been increased to €700 while that for a heating controls upgrade alone is now €600. The grant towards a solar thermal heating installation has been increased to €1200.

 

 

 

Building Services News Celebrates 50 years of Continuously Serving the Industry!

Joe and Pat

Joe and Pat

Right from the outset Building Services News has been an integral part of Ireland’s building services industry and not just a magazine serving the sector. Publisher and Editor Pat Lehane sits on the executive of most of the industry professional and trade representative bodies and the journal has been instrumental in the establishment of many of these organisations.

In addition, Building Services News plays a major role in promoting and facilitating cross-over activity between these bodies, and provides secretariat support and accommodation addresses for many. It also guides and champions many industry causes, coordinating joint activities into lobbying and petitioning groups to act on behalf of the industry as a whole.

Building Services News provides the industry with saturation coverage of the building services sector. It is available in three formats – the print edition which is posted directly to individually-named industry personnel; the web edition, which is freely available to all; and the Facebook page, which is inter-linked with the web edition.

To all of you participating with us in this celebratory golden anniversary edition we say thank you. A small number of you have been dealing with the publication since day one, while many others have been trading partners for a considerable number of years. Of course there are also those of you who have joined us in recent years. In marking the occasion our collective vision should, and is, on the future.

In perusing the archives spanning 50 years we now realise how lucky we are to be part of such a vibrant, dynamic industry sector. In the early days the role of building services was perhaps under-rated by society in general.

Today, that has changed. Rising energy costs, a demand for more comfortable home and working environments, and a genuine sense of social responsibility in respect of the environment has put building services centre stage. What an opportunity – the future for the industry is bright and secure!

However, commercial success is only part of the story. The building services sector is also very much about people, and about a work/social interactive balance. We have been lucky to have made many friends down through the years. Sadly, some of them are no longer with us.

We dedicate this issue to their memory.

Radiators — Last year we dealt with sizing … now for style selection

Frank Donohoe

In this article the focus is on radiator style selection, and on choosing the most applicable type for each application, from the simple functional compact units to the more designer-led solutions. In many ways it boils down to a compromise of budget over expectation. However, it is important to never lose sight of the potential to “up spec” the project.

There are benefits to all parties in this process. The project can be given a more contemporary feel by clever use of some feature radiators in key rooms. This can improve the overall appreciation of the heating system by the client, and can also improve the margin potential for the installer.

So, why would you use one radiator over another for a given project? Close attention to detail will interpret your client’s requirements from a budget and aesthetic consideration. You must then couple this with the practicality of the selected radiator to the application or location constraints.

For those working to a budget, the modern compact radiator provides excellent performance, at an affordable price. The “packaged” profile of side covers and top grille also provide a neat and uniform overall appearance throughout.

For applications where a more subtle approach is preferred, the horizontal tubular radiator is a good solution. These can be full tubular design or the “mock” style units. An advantage of the “mock” units is that they can offer a potential saving over the traditional tubular models.

Where space constraints are the deciding factor, vertical radiators can be ideal. In addition to providing heat, they can also be utilised as a design feature within the room to complement the rest of the décor.

Some clients might even want to take the selection to the next level and utilise the next generation feature radiators. These are not to all tastes, or suitable for all projects, but they do illustrate the level to which radiator manufacturers are prepared to go to deliver a solution to suit all tastes and requirements.

We tend to have traditional views on radiator locations. We don’t always have the wall space, for various reasons, to permit the use of a conventional radiator. Many modern domestic houses feature extensive floor to ceiling glazing. For these applications it is a good idea to use trench heaters. These come in various forms, natural draft, 220v or 24v motorised options.

These heaters utilise finned element copper tubes and are frequently referred to as low-water-content radiators. This technology is evolving into the LST (Low Surface Temperature) sector where it is enclosed within a steel casing.

Virtually all bathrooms now feature towel radiators as standard and, while the ladder style is very popular, more classical options are now freely available. It is important to ensure that they offer adequate output and particular care should be taken when using chrome-plated units. Where this output becomes an issue, an electric underfloor heating mat can support the heat input and offer that extra feel of a luxurious warm floor.

As the foregoing clearly illustrates, radiator manufacturers offer a myriad of design styles to suit all tastes and applications, and are to be congratulated for doing so. However, to end where I came in, whatever radiator is selected it must meet its performance criteria and be performance certified to ENN442. Its heat output must be matched to the heat source performance and temperature.

Be cautious of special offers that are vague on output temperatures and certification. ■

*Frank Donohoe is widely known and respected throughout the radiator sector where he has over 30 years experience with the leading market players. He is now the owner of Donohoe Heating Services, a company formed to support and advise architects, engineers, contractors and end users in the correct sizing and selection of heating systems for domestic applications. t: 01 – 846 0586; m: 086 257 6854; e: donohoeheatingservices @eircom.net