Tag Archives: RHI

The history of home heating and the rise of renewables

Article by Ellina Webb ~ Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric

We’re all users of a home, whether we own it, rent it, or just occupy it and ensuring we have a comfortable and warm home environment is now seen as an expectation of modern life.

But it hasn’t always been possible to take a warm home for granted and things haven’t always been as easy as they are today.

Since the days when early man first discovered fire and used it to keep the ‘cave’ warm and the wolves from the door, we have found ways to refine how we use that flame.

From the wood-burning days through to the industrialisation of the Victorian age and the introduction of coal, lighting a fire has been the main source of heat for the home.

renewable energy

Until the turn of the 20th Century therefore, this open flame in a home wasn’t just for aesthetics – or to make you feel Hygge it was the only option available and for those petticoat wearing Victorian women, the hazard of accidental death from fire was a very real threat.

In the 1930’s, we started to see the introduction of electric forms of heating, and the introduction of a gas network from the 1950’s and 60’s, saw this fuel start to dominate the world of domestic heating.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s and 80’s that we started to see an increase in central heating, predominantly using gas boilers and this still remains the standard for most.

But a reliance on fossil fuels; gas, coal and oil will soon need to become history because as we all know, we cannot continue like this.

So what does the future of our home heating and hot water look like?

As a heat pump manufacturer, you would expect us to promote air source systems but we are not the only ones saying it – The UK government has already recognised that heat pumps have a major role to play in keeping our homes warm and cosy well into the future.

By extracting and harvesting ‘free’ heat energy from the outdoor air, heat pumps are recognised as renewable and qualify for government incentives in the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

This is designed to offset the slightly higher capital costs of investing in renewables and is starting to have a significant impact on the traditional heating market as more people accept that they have to play their part.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub
Heat pumps are suitable from a variety of homes including pre-1930s, 1930-2010, 2010 – present and new build / self build properties.

At the moment, this is also taking the form of adding a heat pump to an existing heating system but as pressure on new housebuilders grows to clearly demonstrate they are delivering sustainable homes for the future, the government fully expects heat pumps to become the norm for home heating.

The other important factor to consider is that as the nation ‘greens’ production of energy with the increased use of wind, solar and even tidal energy production, then heat pumps become even greener.

Mitsubishi Electric - The Hub

So, the history of home heating has been an interesting journey so far but has relied predominantly on burning something to produce heat – a large part of which is often wasted up a chimney or flue.

In reality though, it’s quite scary to see how slow things have changed. It’s only now that the clock to a low carbon future really is ticking so we have to pull together to ensure we pick up the pace and move with the times.


Kensa unveils an evolutionary new heat pump for 2017

ground source heat pump

Kensa Heat Pumps, the UKs confirmed leading supplier of ground source heat pumps, has released details of a brand-new ‘Evo’ series, which claims to deliver significantly improved efficiencies. 

Manufactured in Cornwall, the new Evo ground source heat pump series builds upon Kensa’s eighteen years of experience designing heat pumps specifically for British properties.

Simon Lomax, Managing Director comments:

“The Kensa Evo represents a significant step forward and is a testimony to the ingenuity of an engineering team which focuses exclusively on ground source heat pumps.  The Evo series is more efficient and we have also worked hard to reduce noise levels to industry-leading levels.  And we have not forgotten that the Evo must be simple-to-install and maintain.”

Offering a 15 per cent gain in efficiency in order to minimise running costs and maximise income via the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, the Kensa Evo is available to pre-order in January 2017 for delivery from Spring in 7kW, 9kW, and 13kW single phase models.

The ERP A++ rated Evo delivers heating and hot water efficiencies of SCOPs to 4.2 at 35°C along with significantly reduced noise outputs, packaged in a contemporary contoured gunmetal and gloss-white finish, punctuated by a custom built control panel unique to the Kensa series.

According to James Standley, Operations Director:

“All of the ‘off-the-shelf’ controllers failed to deliver all the functionality demanded by our specification so we have designed a bespoke control unit.”

Designed for larger new builds and renovation projects, the Evo will supplement Kensa’s market-leading Shoebox 3kW and 6kW models which are ideally suited for smaller new builds.

Lomax continues:

“With the Kensa Shoebox Heat Pump, we revolutionised the ground source heat pump market and opened up the potential for the technology to be used in the mass market new build sector. Since then, we have focussed on the Evo development which is the evolution of our Compact series, the original Kensa heat pump launched in 1999. With the Shoebox and our new Evo series, alongside our Twin Compact and Plantroom models, Kensa has a product portfolio that suits every application, and all models are backed-up by our exceptional technical support. 

“We are proud that BSRIA Market Reports have confirmed Kensa as the leading UK supplier of ground source heat pumps for the past four years, and we are confident that we can build upon this success with the Evo series to support the Government’s ambitious targets for heat pump deployment.”


Each model in the Kensa Evo series has optimised sized stainless steel heat exchangers, which allows the compressor to respond more efficiently, increasing SCOP performance and delivering 60°C domestic hot water.


The ergonomic steel casing has been designed with a focus on ease of access, whilst providing sturdy yet stylish protection from ageing and wear and tear.


The Evo has been designed to be easy to handle and install.

With just one single cross head screw in its unique bevelled front panel, the Evo’s electrical component and wiring terminals are easily accessible with the removal of just one panel.

The heat pump has four rear water connections, two for the ground collectors and two for the property’s heating distribution system. The connections consist of four 28mm straight brass fittings designed with tight tolerances, ensuring compatibility with easy to install push fittings.

The external side panels feature a curved cut-out offering the installer an extra level of flexibility to install the Evo according to the demands of the site, with vertical and horizontal pipework exit points from the sides and top of the unit.


Kensa has developed its own control board which is the brain of the new Evo heat pump. The customer interface is an intuitive touch screen that facilitates commissioning and parameter settings, and provides live status readings supported by LED light indicators.

The custom built software also permits the control board to pre-empt system irregularities using warning safety levels, which may previously have resulted in a fault if left unchecked. This pro-active system will ultimately reduce costs and call outs and enable better diagnostics and system resolution, aided by Kensa’s technical support and UK wide installation network.


Animation highlights renewable heating potential for commercial buildings

A new animation from Mitsubishi Electric is highlighting how commercial premises can benefit from reliable, renewable heating to help reduce energy bills whilst also qualifying for 20 years of Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments.

“Over half the emissions from a typical commercial property are due to water and space heating and finding ways to reduce energy here can make a real difference to people bills and the nation’s carbon reduction targets,” explains Graham Temple, marketing manager for the company’s range of Ecodan commercial heating systems.

renewable heating

Heat pumps are recognised by both EU and UK Governments as renewable because they maximise the amount of heating for every kilowatt of electricity consumed.

The short animation focuses on two renewable heat pump products in the market-leading Ecodan range, with the packaged, Monobloc CAHV air source system and the CRHV ground or water-source solution.

renewable heating

Both will connect to radiators or underfloor heating systems and can work independently or in conjunction with other heating systems.

The units are also modular, meaning they can be installed in phases to increase design flexibility and will work in rotation to match demand and prolong equipment life.

The air source is available up to 688kW and the ground/water source will deliver 960kW, making them ideal for many commercial buildings, whether new-build or refurbishments.

“We’ve used a school in the animation, but the principles also apply to almost any commercial building owner who wants to reduce energy bills and receive RHI payments,” adds Temple.

To view the animation visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRyOqlf8hag or call 01707 282880 for further information.

Cost effective renewable heating for residents

Mitsubishi ElectricThe residents of 200 dwellings under the ownership of a Basingstoke Housing Association have been given a welcome boost to both their energy bills and their temperatures with the installation of Mitsubishi Electric Ecodan air source heat pumps.

The homes, all located in an off-gas area, were scheduled for an upgrade to their systems in the next five years but have now been fast-tracked for the installation by Sentinel Housing Association.

The installations of the 5kW and 8.5kW units are being carried out by local firm Faulkners, who have been installing Ecodan heat pump systems for the past eight years.

Sentinel Asset Manager, Carolyn Munns explains: “The main reason for looking for a renewable heat source was the cost of the existing fuel solutions. This is an off-gas area so they were all powered by either electricity or solid fuel. We are confident that tenants will be saving hundreds of pounds in energy bills by switching to air source heat pumps.”

Ecodan air source heat pumps are proven to reduce both running costs and emissions over traditional carbon-intensive heating and are particularly suited to off-gas areas which are heavily reliant on oil.

The fact that they also qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provides additional financial benefits to the owner of the system.

“The RHI was a major factor in our decision to install air source heat pumps,” explains Carolyn. “Without this incentive we would not have been able to proceed with the installation, but when this is factored into the equation the money which Sentinel will receive makes it a very cost effective solution.

The installations also include Mitsubishi Electric’s Metering and Monitoring Service Package (MMSP). This allows residents and Sentinel Housing to track how well the Ecodan units are operating, as well as enabling the housing association to claim a further annual incentive payment under the RHI.

“We wanted something that would be easy to control as well as saving money, but we were also acutely aware that some of our residents weren’t able to afford to heat their home properly in winter due to the cost of solid fuels,” explains Carolyn.

“So as well as the financial benefits of the Ecodan solution, the residents will also benefit from a better quality of life as a result of having access to cost-effective heating throughout the winter months. In addition, they will no longer have to worry about cleaning out and maintaining their old solid fuel system.”

She concludes: “There have been other costs involved in future proofing the homes, for example making sure that windows and insulation meet the required standards. This has however all been factored into the overall costs and both the Housing Association and the tenants will still be substantially better off with this renewable technology.”

A full list of case studies and customer testimonials can be found on Mitsubishi Electric’s digital library: http://library.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/


What’s in a kW?… …£2,000 to be exact


Leading biomass solutions provider, Euroheat, has re-classified its HDG Compact 200 pellet or wood chip boiler to allow end-users to make the most of recent changes to the non-commercial RHI. Whereas before the most attractive tariffs ended under 200kW (199kWs or lower), this has been recently changed to include 200kW boilers, equating to £2,000 additional RHI returns a year.

Simon Holden, co-founder of Euroheat explains: “Moving the parameters of one of our most popular boilers might seem like a fairly insignificant change, but for RHI recipients, it means a considerable additional chunk of money. One extra kW = an extra £2,000 annually; a sizeable figure that will make a big difference to the light-commercial customers this boiler-type appeals to.”

About Euroheat’s HDG Compact 200

The HDG Compact 200 is a highly efficient biomass boiler, designed to burn pellets or wood chips as fuel.

Optimised combustion technology results in low fuel consumption, with an advanced PLC control governing the boiler’s output ensuring that only the required amount of heat is produced. Fully automated, with pellets or chips transported to the combustion chamber and then ignited automatically, the Compact 200 also delivers self-activated cleaning and has a large ash container for convenience.


Agricultural and sport college swaps big bills for biomass!


Natural energy supplier, Euroheat is helping the UK’s leading agricultural and sports college save an impressive 400,000kg of carbon per year by making the switch to biomass technology in a bid to reduce its annual £800,000 energy bill, while receiving Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments of just under £80,000 per year!

Hartpury College campus, in Gloucester, covers some 360 hectares and is a residential learning hub for more than 1300 students working towards qualifications in equine, sport and animal and land studies. The site already boasts solar pv panels, so it was a natural progression that further green technology was installed.

Simon Holden, co-founder of Euroheat, explained: “We’re delighted the college is now reaping huge benefits by opting for a biomass district heating system. We have installed four Euroheat prefabricated Energy Cabins, each containing a 199kW HDG Compact wood pellet boiler, integrated 14 tonne pellet store and 4000 litre accumulator.


“As a result, campus managers can now look forward to saving on the cost of over 150,000 litres of oil previously used on-site, replacing it with the estimated 300 tonnes of wood pellets the boilers will use.”

Completed in December 2014, the project required a solution to supply heat and hot water to the accommodation, kitchen and Further Education buildings. Euroheat were identified as the best supplier for the project by Steve Luker Associates, consultant for the project, who added: “There were no real issues with installation; once the preparation work had been completed to link into the existing oil system, which is being retained as back-up; the Energy Cabins were simply and swiftly installed.

“The part of the campus now benefiting from biomass previously cost some £143,000 per year to heating, so taking into account previous fuel costs, we can say that it is hoped that savings will amount to over £100,000 a year when lower cost fuel is combined with the RHI. Obviously exact figures will be monitored closely over the next year.”

For more information on Euroheat’s Energy Cabins or biomass solutions, visit www.euroheat.co.uk or call 01885 491112.

Panasonic’s new bivalent controller maximises energy savings


Panasonic has added an innovative bivalent controller to its Aquarea range of air source heat pumps. The controller will maximise energy savings in installations where the heat pump is operating alongside an existing energy source, for example in refurbishment projects, where there is often pressure to minimise investment costs. 

Panasonic’s bivalent controller enables a heat pump from the Aquarea range to operate alongside a gas- or oil-fired boiler and controls sequencing to minimise running costs. The controller includes three different operating modes and all necessary sensors are included in the package to operate both energy sources and a secondary pump. A thermostat can be connected to stop both the pump and the heat pump/boiler according to room temperature.

“Hybrid systems, where a new heat pump is added to an existing boiler, are a popular option in refurbishment projects,” explains Marc Diaz, UK Country Manager of Panasonic Heating and Cooling. “It is very important in such systems to make sure that they operate at maximum efficiency, so that energy use can be reduced and running cost savings maximised. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme requires that systems are running efficiently.”

The three bivalent operating modes are: Alternative; Parallel; and Boost/Parallel Demand.

In alternative mode, if the outdoor temperature is below the threshold design value, then the system stops the heat pump and starts the gas/oil boiler or other alternative energy source.

In parallel mode, if the outdoor temperature is below the threshold design value, then the system starts the gas/oil boiler or another energy source, and the heat pump and the gas/oil boiler work alongside each other.

In boost/parallel demand mode, if the outdoor temperature is below the threshold design value, then the controller starts to monitor the buffer tank temperature. If the buffer tank is below a set temperature over a specific period, than the gas/oil boiler is switched on. The system switches on the gas/oil boiler according to the demand.

In the case of buffer tank control, the user can apply a constant buffer set temperature and the heat pump is switched on if the buffer tank temperature is below the set point. If a room thermostat is installed, then the thermostat switches on or off the secondary pump and the heat pump supply to the buffer tank.

For secondary pump control, the water pump and the heat pump are activated by the room thermostat. If the room thermostat opens the contact, then the system stops both the secondary pump and the heat pump.

In all applications, summer shut down is operated so that the secondary pump (if activated) and the heat pump are stopped if the outdoor temperature is above the design set point.

For more information on the Bivalent Controller, please visit www.aircon.panasonic.eu .

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