Tag Archives: HPA

Heat pumps – time to move to ‘system integration’

 Thomas Nowak, Secretary General

Thomas Nowak, Secretary General

In Ireland, the Heat Pump Association’s sales figures for 2015 fully reflect this pattern, showing an increase of 67.76% on the previous year, making for a total of 3902 units sold. Indications for the first six months of 2016 are for another bumper year in store. This overall growth is mainly driven by the strong segment of air-sourced heat pumps, a renewable technology that finds increasing attention in European and national statistics, according to EPHA.

Geographically, most of the growth can be attributed to increased sales in countries such as Spain (+15%), Italy (+20%) and France (+8%). However, as indicated, Ireland had by far the greatest percentage growth, albeit from a lower starting point. “These figures could increase further in these countries if an appropriate framework would be set at EU level to account for renewable cooling“, commented Pascal Westring, EHPA expert in statistics. This issue is being addressed by the Commission this year, with the Heating & Cooling Strategy and revision of the Renewable Energy Directive.

“Technology-neutrality”                                                                                                             Looking at the sales potential identified by EHPA, if European markets would reach the same maturity level as the Swedish one, the European heat pump stock could realistically grow to 60 million units, enough to replace today’s imported Russian gas for heating purposes.

“We are not yet there”, says Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of EHPA, “but interest in heat pump technology is on the rise across Europe. A growing number of experts conclude that decarbonisation of the heating sector is impossible without heat pumps.

“Civil society is also turning to the technology. We see a growing number of cities applying to our ‘heat pump city of the year award’. Yet, EU policy-makers prefer to remain technology-neutral. Instead, they should create framework conditions that favour the most efficient and best performing technologies. When the state of our planet requires immediate action, high ambition must be the answer.”

Integrated solutions = heat pumps                                                                                                               Thomas Nowak added: “A catchy word in Brussels energy discussion nowadays is ‘integrated approach’. Heat pumps are the perfect system integration technology for a resilient Energy Union. They are a bridge between the electricity and the thermal sector, between heating and cooling. They can be combined with residual heat, district heating, cogeneration and other RES solutions. Maybe system integration could be the new way forward to unleash the potential of heat pumps”

EHPA Key policy messages                                                                                                                             Meeting EU’s climate and energy goals entails the decarbonisation of the heating sector. The latter requires a full decarbonisation of the building sector by 2050. According to several studies, this can only be achieved in time by exploiting the full potential of heat pumps, the most efficient and renewable technologies.

Due to the “lock-in” effect of investment in thermal appliances, heat pumps need to be given strong political recognition as of today. This means:

• Heat pumps need to be openly supported by policy makers to reassure consumers and investors. Best available technologies must be promoted in EU and national policies, on  the basis of a consumer-friendly energy label (that has no empty ‘A’ class and compares functionally-equivalent products);

• Heat pumps need a stimulating climate-friendly regulatory framework, such as strong building requirements, policies to foster the renovation sector, defined phase-down objectives for fossil fuel boilers, and a forward-looking primary energy factor;

• Heat pumps play a key role in system integration and should be valued and promoted. They offer huge flexibility potential through demand-response and thermal storage.

Heat pumps poised for lift off!

Richard Sherlock, Chairman, Heat Pump Association

Richard Sherlock, Chairman, Heat Pump Association

The HPA is now very often the first port of call for these bodies when seeking information on the sector, be it market size, technical data, energy performance criteria, etc. Current Chairman is Richard Sherlock, Field Sales Manager for the Air-conditioning and Heating Divisions, Mitsubishi Electric. Here Richard gives a brief resume of progress and developments over the years, and highlights some of the challenges facing the sector as it looks to the future.

Brands represented by the current membership include Danfoss, Hitachi, Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric,  Waterfurnace, Thermia, Panasonic, Toshiba, Alpha Innotec/Origen, Baxi Potterton Myson, Nibe, CTC Enertec, Joule/ Samsung and Stiebel Eltron.

Membership is growing at a rapid rate, perhaps not surprisingly as the market is poised for dramatic expansion. Latest HPA industry figures show heat pumps sales up over 50% from 2013 to 2014. Estimated sales figures for the first half of 2015 show that pattern continuing.

Heat pumps are an extremely efficient method of heating with primary energy efficiencies unrivalled by any other technology. The current level of  energy credits available on the SEAI energy credit list demonstrates this clearly and, with the recent addition of air to air heat pump credits, the opportunities for heat pumps is set to rise further.

Heat pumps should no longer be viewed as an emerging technology. They are now a very proven technology with volumes of evidence-based data collated from controlled monitoring now available from all the major manufacturers.

This includes both test room and living-environment settings. All demonstrate and confirm the energy reductions that accrue from installing heat pumps, and also the significant related running cost reductions.

The major impediment to development of the heat pump market has been the assumptions made in SEAI’s DEAP software and the penal factor applied to heat pumps for hot water production.

Surveys conducted by HPA have shown that, among HPA members, there is not a single heat pump which has these limitations, demonstrating that the current rules are outdated and in no way reflective of current heat pump products.

Discussions regarding some elements of the software in relation to heat pumps are at an advanced stage. SEAI recently invited comments on a set of proposals and, with this public consultation process now completed, the industry awaits the outcome of these deliberations. This is expected shortly.

Another very important issue is the imminent implementation of the section of the Erp Directive dealing with heat generators. Lot 10 of the Directive dealing with air conditioners with a cooling capacity of <12KW was implemented as far back as 2013. The next major change is the enactment of LOT 1 for heat generators, which includes heat pumps. This is scheduled to be take effect on 26 September next.

The Erp Directive (2009/125/EC: Eco Design) will change the heating sector and introduce new energy efficiency standards for heating technology. The Directive aims to improve the energy efficiency of products and systems and was put in place to help the EU achieve its 20-20-20 targets

Unified HPA approach                                                                                                                               Individually, HPA members have already taken the necessary steps to ensure compliance but a HPA sub-committee is currently devising a unified HPA approach to deal with the implications of ErP as it is rolled out over the coming months.

One of the goals of LOT 1 is for individuals to be able to compare technologies such as heat pumps and other heat generators on a single label so they can make an informed purchasing decision. This will not only help end-users, but also specifying consultants and heating installers.

LOT 1 is split into two basic capacity/output ranges – up to 70kW and those ranging from 70kW to 400kW. Installers will be required to fill out a “Fiche” document which will provide an energy efficiency figure for the heating system, encompassing generator, ancillaries, controls etc.

For heat pumps manufacturers one of the main market concerns is in relation to rating in the DEAP software. Industry should not confuse the requirements under ErP and EPBD … they are two different things. Essentially, having labels published for ErP has no impact in DEAP as the current methodology does not accommodate ErP labels or testing.

In fact, there is no requirement for Irish authorities to accommodate ErP in software derived from EPBD. Both Directives are independent and links between them are not defined, particularly for use in DEAP methodologies in member states.

While the foregoing points to some very obvious and serious challenges facing the development of the heat pump market in Ireland, the facts of the matter cannot be disputed. Despite some serious and unfair impediments, heat pump sales have still shown a 50% increase over the years 2013 to 2014. Once these impediments have been resolved and heat pumps given a level playing field in respect of comparisons with other heat generators, the market will continue to develop, but at an everaccelerating rate.

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.

Heat pumps now a major force

Richard Sherlock, HPA Director and Heating Sales Engineer, Daikin Europe NV

The HPA has been a member of the EHPA for the past two years and in 2012 accompanied an EHPA delegation to the European Parliament. Among those we met with was Irish MEP Sean Kelly, who gave a positive reception to the idea of heat pumps as an alternative heat source for rural Ireland.

In some respects the marketplace in Ireland has already spoken in that heat pump sales across the entire country – in both rural and urban locations – are significantly up on last year. Sales for the first six months of this year point to a further significant increase for 2014. Essentially, heat pumps have come of age as a market segment and are now viewed as an energy-efficient, cost-effective alternative heating source when compared with traditional products and systems.

With the publishing of energy credits in 2013 on the SEAI energy saving credits table, heat pumps firmly took top place in the energy saving measures with more credits than any other technology. This further reinforces that a heat pump is the most energy efficient heating system and, when you factor in that it is also cheaper to run than traditional fossil fuel systems, it confirms heat pumps as the obvious choice for heating.

Heat pumps are the only primary energy-positive heat generator due to the use of a refrigeration cycle. Assuming a primary energy factor for electricity of 2.42 and a heat pump Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 4:1, the primary energy efficiency of the heat pump is 165%.

This is important in terms of the reduction of primary energy and the carbon reductions needed to meet our 20-20-20 targets. Couple this with an electricity grid which is being decarbonised and has a reducing primary energy factor and there is a combined reduction in primary energy use associated with heat pumps that is unrivalled by any other heat source.

There have been multiple positive interactions with SEAI over the years and we would like to thank SEAI for looking objectively at the proposals which have been put forward, and for making some positive changes in order to show that the technology has a lot to offer in terms of running costs and energy and carbon savings.

The HPA represents the most proactive and responsible members of the heat pump industry in Ireland, all of whom work cohesively to achieve and sustain industry best practice; to promote the correct use of the technology; and to create a market awareness of the features of heat pump technology and the many benefits it offers.

Current members include Alpha Innotec/Origin; Nibe/Unipipe; Daikin; Dimplex; Panasonic; Danfoss/ Heat Pumps Ireland; Toshiba/GT Phelan; Water Furnace/Alternative Heating and Cooling; and Hitachi. 

Membership of the HPA is open to all bona fide companies – manufacturers, distributors and agents – involved in the sector. To find out more, and to join, simply email:hpaireland@gmail.com or log on to www.hpa.com