Energy Saving Trust Heat Pump Field Trial

By Katie Anderson on September 9th, 2011

July 2008 saw the Energy Saving Trust launch their heat pump field trial, which monitored the performance of domestic heat pumps.

The exercise to monitor heat pump installations in UK homes was undertaken to determine the main factors which influence the performance of domestic heat pump installations, and monitored 83 heat pumps for a minimum period of 12 months.

Participants who took part in the trial came from a variety of sources, including heat pump manufacturers, energy suppliers and social housing providers and the study featured both air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

It was determined that potential customers should take in to consideration a variety of factors when planning to install heat pumps, including:

  • The technology is best suited to new-build properties and well-insulated existing properties that cannot access the gas network.
  • When compared with coal, oil, direct electric or LPG,┬áheat pumps have the potential to reduce running costs and can provide substantial carbon savings over the heat pump’s lifetime.
  • Your property needs to be well insulated before the technology is installed.
  • Heat pumps can be installed to work alongside properly sized radiators and with low temperature under-floor heating.
  • Insist upon understandable, user-friendly controls are a must.

The heat pump field trial report revealed that a property with radiators may heat up more slowly, and that heat pumps provide a lower temperature of heating when compared with boilers; therefore radiators will be warm rather than hot.

According to the report, supplemental electric immersion heaters are fitted with many systems, although properly sized and installed heat pump should be able to meet all of a household’s domestic hot water needs.

In conclusion, the study indicated that to get the best from heat pumps performance-wise, the technology is largely dependent upon effective installation and integration with an existing heating system.

For more information about the domestic heat pump field trial, visit the Energy Saving Trust.

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