The Heat Pump Ready (HPR) Programme forms part of BEIS’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.
As a key solution for decarbonising homes, heat pumps will be critical for meeting the UK’s legally binding commitment to achieve net zero by 2050. The Heat Pump Ready Programme will support the development of innovative solutions across the heat pump sector. The Government’s recently published Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out several key commitments for helping to ensure that the transition to low-carbon buildings is affordable and achievable for all, including delivering a package of measures to scale up the deployment of heat pumps to 600,000 a year by 2028 and to support industry to reduce the costs of heat pumps. The Strategy set out the ambition to work with industry to reduce the upfront costs of heat pumps by 25-50 per cent by 2025 and to parity with boilers by 2030, as well as making them as cheap to run as a gas boiler.
The capital cost, lifetime operational cost and lifetime efficiency of both ground and air source-based heat pumps are all fundamentally linked to establishing the required combined space heating and hot water demand profile. Get it wrong and an undersized heat pump cannot adequately heat the home, while oversized heat pumps cost more and don't run as efficiently.
In most cases, approximately two-thirds of this demand is driven by space heating requirements. However, this is currently determined through heat loss calculation software underpinned by a series of assumed inputs. This can be useful as a guide but with the introduction of smart meters, low-cost sensors, and newly established techniques, it is now possible to measure key performance parameters directly on a per property basis at scale.
The awarded 15-month project is to be delivered by BTS in partnership with Veritherm, both of whom are leading providers of thermal performance measurement solutions, along with Elmhurst Energy Consultancy. Together the businesses will work together to determine:
How calculations and measurements can co-exist, the latter providing improved confidence as well as optimisation and calibration of heat pump system specification and design.
A publicly available protocol that defines the measurement options, the standards that must be followed, what the outputs must comprise and how these should be presented.
Optimal delivery models with respect to the use of quick tests, low disruption short-term monitoring and/or use of existing smart infrastructure and IoT devices already installed.
The role of ongoing measurement and condition monitoring services to validate system performance in-use.
Scope and delivery of added features and functionality to the measurement in response to heat pump market needs.
Improved design and commissioning tools for specifiers and installers to use.
“Veritherm are delighted to be working alongside BTS and Elmhurst to explore how measured building performance can play a crucial part in the mass rollout of heat pumps” said Tom Fenton, Founder and CEO of Veritherm. “We believe the project will highlight a new methodology that uses real-world data to improve system specification, design, and management. The collaboration brings together the UK’s leading innovators in building performance measurement and we hope the outputs from our research will help to break down barriers to adoption, whilst providing valuable insights that can be shared with the industry.”
Richard Jack, BTS Technical Director, added that the argument is simple. No two buildings are ever the same and yet desktop heat loss calculations rely on identikit assumptions and fixed parameters.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this project and we are going to take this opportunity to demonstrate that the measurement of building heat loss is not only cost-effective and highly scalable, but it also delivers better outcomes including, crucially, optimal lifetime heat pump system functionality and performance” said Mr Jack.
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