UK-based Bellway has installed what it describes as Great Britain’s first rooftop-mounted air source heat pump, as part of the “Future Home” pilot project at the University of Salford.
The home construction company has engineered a home to support the 200 kg Bosch 3400i Hydrotop heat pump on its roof. Scotland-based construction contractor Donaldson Timber Systems redesigned the home’s timber frame to accommodate the unit. A second unit will be fitted to an external wall in order to compare its performance against the roof-mounted unit.
“During the research period, we will have people living within the home to test the performance of the heat pump during real-life use. If the unit in the loft performs well, it could create a new way for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising on space or aesthetics,” said Jamie Bursnell, group technical and innovations manager for Bellway. “We will be able to compare the data from the two heat pumps to determine the most viable option for the future.”
Darran Burrage – UK new build director at Worcester Bosch, the manufacturer of the heat pumps – said that size and location are key obstacles to converting to a heat pump in existing properties.
“By placing an air source heat pump in the loft of the Future Home, the trial will hopefully pave the way for an alternative location and if successful enable more homeowners to see the technology as a viable greener heating alternative in the future,” said Burrage.
The Future Home project is in its final stages and is expected to welcome guests from 2023. University of Salford researchers will analyze the effectiveness of the heat pumps and study their impact on the cost of living. The project is being built inside a climate-controlled chamber at the university as part of its GBP 16 million ($18.5 million) Energy House 2.0 research project.
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Unless the U.K. is maybe 2 decades behind the U.S. in HVAC technology, I think it is Not At All Possible this is the 1st U.K. use of an ASHP for a rooftop unit. ASHP rooftop units are very common in the US on top of all matter of buildings from hotels to convention centers to schools to virtually any low-rise office building. Is the U.K really that far behind? I doubt it.
I think the difference here is it’s not “on roof” but “in loft” the headline is misleading.
I had this idea years ago. I don’t know why we need a test for this at all. Heat pumps should always be placed within the roof space for a residential house because they are less of an eyesore and they don’t put pressure on weaker/older brick walls. Having the heat pump elevated means you don’t have a cold terrace house courtyard or noise reverberating around your garden. It’s blaringly obvious!
Newer heat pumps are quiet. Most are in the 45 db range (plus or minus); some units run at 38 db! In addition with modern variable speed compressors there are no abrupt stops and starts to hear.
Putting a heat pump in an enclosed space (like an attic) is not practical as it needs new air to exchange heat with. In other words, in winter the heat pump would end up refrigerating the attic space or in the summer heat the same space. In either case, eventually reaching either the maximum or minimum operating rage of the heat pump rendering it inoperable.
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