Heat Pumps:

 

Ground source heat pumps and Air source heat pumps 

Heat pumps are energy efficient heating systems that takes free, renewable heat energy from the ground, rock or water (ground source heat pumps), from air (air source heat pumps) and from ventilation air inside a building (exhaust air heat pumps). For 1 unit of electricity required to run the compressor inside the heat pump, it delivers up to 5 units* of heat to the heating system. In other words, 500% efficient*. Compare this to oil and gas boilers which are somewhere between 80% and 90% efficient. Heat pumps replace conventional boilers and deliver space heating, and cooling where required, and hot water. Heat pumps can be used in homes, shared community heating systems and commercial, industrial and public buildings.  

The History of the Technology5

Some would say that the story of heat pumps started in Scotland with renowned physicist Lord Kelvin who’s work in the 1850s resulted in the Joule-Kelvin effect which is the science behind how systems with refrigerants work. But it was across the North Sea in Sweden where the heat pump came into its own as a response to the energy crisis in the 1970s. It has since been developed and refined to the point where it is now a mainstream household product, tried and tested over 30 years in the rigours of the Nordic climate. 300,000 heat pumps were installed in Europe in 2008. The following table shows the total number of heat pump installations, over the past 3 years, in the main heat pump markets in Europe.Figures are for ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and exhaust air heat pumps.
 

Greater Comfort, Lower Fuel Bills & Reduced Carbon Footprint

Gone are the days of blasting the heating on for a couple of hours in the morning and again early evening! Now you can enjoy a comfortable indoor temperature and save on heating bills. Because heat pumps are energy efficient and work on the principle of low temperature heating (35 - 55° C as opposed to 70 - 80° C for traditional boilers) they maintain the desired room temperature 24 hours a day. Controlled by the outdoor temperature the heat pump knows when and how much heat is required. The effect is a much more comfortable indoor climate, healthier for us and much better for the fabric of the building. With a design life of 20 years on the Swedish heat pumps Gecko distributes, this represents a low lifecycle cost compared to fossil fuel boilers.

Less Exposure to Escalating Fuel Prices & Low Maintenance Costs

A heat pump delivers predictable and consistent heat all year round irrespective of whether the sun shines or the wind blows. There are heat pumps installed in some of the coldest parts of Europe, within the Arctic Circle, for example. In fact, the Swedes, known for their common sense and practical approach to life, have been installing heat pumps in their homes for 30 years. It's comforting to know that heat pump technology is not only tried and tested in such conditions, it has also been refined and its efficiency enhanced over the years. Heat pumps can be dimensioned to meet all your heating and hot water needs or can be installed to work in tandem with other renewables like solar thermal or your existing boiler system. Because there is no combustion, heat pumps are safe and don't require an annual service although a ‘health check’, now and then, ensures that the system is running as efficiently as possible.

Types of Heat Pump

Different types of heat pump have been designed to harness the renewable, solar heat energy in the ground, water and air and also to extract heat energy from the stale, damp ‘exhaust’ air inside our homes.

The following types of heat pump work to heat water based heating systems and domestic hot water: ·        

Ground Source Heat Pump ·        

Outdoor Air Heat Pump   ·        

Exhaust Air Heat Pump

Advising on whether a heat pump is appropriate for your property, and if so which type, is something that we at Gecko specialise in and you can tap into many years experience covering hundreds of installations. As with any heating system the first step is to do what you can to reduce the heat loss of your property by improving insulation levels and draught-proofing etc. where possible. Gecko’s approach is to assess the needs of your property, the characteristics of your site and understand your ambitions in terms of micro-renewable energy

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