Housing Specification Blog

Designing with Renewables

September 7, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Design

Today we’re handing over the blog to Daikin UK. Specialists in heating and ventilation systems, Daikin tell Housing Specification that renewable technology design needn’t sacrifice aesthetics for eco-friendly performance.

Renewable energy heating solutions for housing are perfectly compatible with great design. As long as you have the right product specification, you can still meet all planning and aesthetic requirements, while delivering up to 50% reduction in carbon emissions and much lower running costs too.

Low temperature air-to-water heat pumps are ideal for new build projects or refurbishments where heat emitters are being replaced, because they operate most efficiently when generating low flow temperatures. So they can be designed to work with underfloor heating systems, which operate with flow temperatures as low as 35°C, or with slimline heat pump convectors, which are designed to operate at similarly low flow temperatures.

Daikin heat pumps

Two types of low temperature heat pump systems are available. Split refrigerant systems, consist of an outdoor unit connected by refrigerant piping to an indoor unit to produce heating and hot water. Monobloc systems do not require an indoor unit and are also able to provide heating and hot water. Depending on the model and installation location, some heat pump systems will not require planning permission, but it’s always worth checking this with the installer and with your local planning office.

Split systems are the most versatile of all heat pump systems. Depending on the output, the outdoor unit can be situated up to 70 metres away from the property, so they are ideal for properties where aesthetics are of paramount importance, or for larger properties. These systems offer high efficiencies of more than 300% and are available in a wide range of capacities to suit every size of dwelling, providing maximum installation flexibility.

Where internal space is a premium, a Monobloc system may be better suited because most key components are located in the outdoor unit. A range of low capacity Monoblocs (6kW and 8kW) are particularly suitable for smaller properties and are designed specifically for the UK social housing sector, which has a high proportion of fuel poor, off-gas households. Low capacity heat pumps are also ideal for smaller new build applications.

In older, hard to heat properties, where the householder would like to retain the existing heat emitters, a high temperature system may be better suited. For example, the Daikin Altherma HT system is able to provide flow temperatures of up to 80°C, without an additional back-up heater and is suitable as a direct replacement for a traditional boiler system.

For multi-occupancy buildings such as apartments or high density housing, a system such as the Daikin Altherma Flex Type allows independent control and billing of heating and hot water systems within each individual home, with the whole building system powered from community-based outdoor units, each of which can serve up to ten individual dwellings. This unique system includes individual hot water cylinders for each property, as well as offering optional cooling through heat recovery technology. Yet it delivers remarkable efficiency of up to 350%.

The wide choice of air-water heat pumps now available just goes to show how many options are now available to designers, who wish to incorporate all the benefits of renewable energy technologies into their latest developments.

To find out more about Daikin’s products, please click here.

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