Vattenfall, a Swedish multinational power company, has launched a high-temperature CO2 (R744) heat pump water heater that it says can replace a conventional gas boiler for space heating and hot-water generation without costly retrofitting.
The high-temperature heat pump system has been specially developed for existing single-family homes that are heated by gas boilers with radiators, and are moderately insulated.
The heat pump will first be rolled out in the Netherlands in mid-2022, with the aim of introducing it to countries with a need for this type of solution in the future, including the U.K.
According to the website Deepresource.com, the heat pump is a joint-venture between Vattenfall, Dutch installer Feenstra (a subsidiary of Vattenfall), German hybrid heating manufacturer SOLVIS and the Japanese CO2 heat pump manufacturer DENSO.
The heat pump is the result of three years of R&D conducted by Vattenfall and Feenstra, and testing in 20 test homes in Heemskerk, The Netherlands, reported Deepresource.com
In an infographic from Vattenfall published on current-news.co.uk, the CO2 heat pump is described as “one of the first in the world” to combine both space heating and hot tap-water production. In addition to the heat pump, it employs a “stratified buffer” that acts as a battery, “temporarily doubling the heating capacity.” A home’s existing radiator system can be used with the system, though it would need hydronic balancing.
According to the infographic, water leaves the heat pump at temperatures higher than 65°C (149°F), enter the buffer, which produces temperatures up to 85°C (185°F).
A decarbonization solution
Vattenfall noted that in The Netherlands and the U.K., households could “swap out their existing gas boilers without needing to go to the additional expense and disruption of changing the rest of their heating system or installing additional insulation at the same time,” which would be needed for lower-temperature heat pumps.
“The high-temperature heat pump solution is innovative, simple to install and could be the solution to help decarbonize homes in the U.K. that are heated using traditional gas boilers,” said Mark Anderson, Commercial and Development Director at Vattenfall Heat U.K.
Heating accounts for as much as 37% of the U.K.’s carbon emissions, said Vattenfall. Heat pumps are most suited to decarbonizing heating in suburban or rural areas where properties are dispersed, the company noted, adding that in densely populated areas, the most cost-effective solution is to capture waste heat from sources such as energy recovery plants, and supply it to homes and businesses via district-heating networks.
Research conducted by Vattenfall in the U.K. last year found that just under 25% of adults are confident they could afford to install a low-carbon heating system. The price of the high-temperature heat pump will be comparable to current low and medium temperature heat pumps, but without the extra cost of retrospective insulation and/or under floor heating, said Vattenfall.
“The high-temperature heat pump solution is innovative, simple to install and could be the solution to help decarbonize homes in the U.K. that are heated using traditional gas boilers.”Mark Anderson, Vattenfall Heat U.K.
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