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“Because we have been working on environmental issues for some time I was surprised at how much useful practical information was new to me which I can now apply within my organization.”
Sheila Daly, University of Portsmouth
East Sussex Heat Pump Case Studies
An air-source heat pump typically provides around 3 to 4 kWh of heat energy for every 1 kWh of electricity it consumes. In comparison, for every 1 kWh of electricity used by a resistive electric heater, such as a fan heater or an oil-filled radiator, only 1 kWh of heat is produced.
This efficiency gain is possible because rather than generating heat itself, a heat pump uses the properties of a refrigerant to absorb heat from the air and then moves the refrigerant to release the heat in the place it is required. Working in reverse, most models can also be used to provide cooling.
The Heat Pump Association website provides a more detailed explanation: www.heatpumps.org.uk.
Co-efficient of Performance
Following a free Energy Audit and a £1,000 grant from the Energy Efficient East Sussex programme, Elephant Print & Display in Barcombe installed an air-source heat pump to replace two 3 kW resistance heaters.
The model they selected had a Co-efficient of Performance (COP) of 4, meaning that only 750 kWh of electricity are now required to provide the same annual heating demand that the original heaters needed 3,000 kWh of electricity to produce.
This has saved the company £270 a year and reduced their carbon footprint by just over 1 tonne.
Similarly, Badger Inks in Seaford are expecting worthwhile savings. Having received a grant to fit LED lighting, they have now also installed a heat pump on both the ground and first floor of their premises to replace a large ageing storage heater and several plug-in heaters. They expect to save 5,000 kWh and £500 per year, equating to around a 5 year return on investment.
Timer & Temperature Controls
As with any heating or cooling system ensuring that time and temperature settings are correctly programmed is essential to minimising running costs.
Posturite in Berwick also received free Energy Audit, which identified that by standardising the temperature settings of the numerous heat pumps used throughout the office building and ensuring that heating or cooling did not get left switched on overnight cost savings of over £1,500 per year could be achieved.
They also received a grant, to connect three heat pumps on the busiest floor of the building to a single control unit, so that the individual systems could not be accidentally set at different temperatures and effectively compete against each other.
Energy Efficient East Sussex was funded by East Sussex County Council and delivered by the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC.