Heat Pumps – Ignore Them At Your Peril….

As differing responses to the need for a decarbonised future for domestic heating has swept across the UK, there has been an unhealthy willingness to chase the spectre of new technology and a dreamlike, instant future, heralded by the arrival of hydrogen as the answer to all our problems. And all whilst the proven technology and comforting energy efficiency offered by heat pumps has been shuffled away as some kind of black art technology that simply cannot work. Or if it can, it won’t work in a large percentage of homes in the UK. 

With hundreds of thousands of heat pumps being installed in Germany this year, and hundreds of thousands already installed and operating very well across Scandinavia and North America as well as across mainland Europe – it’s amazing it’s taken this long for the penny to drop. 

At last, the UK heating industry – in the form of its installers at any rate – is making the decision to welcome heat pump technology with open arms with research undertaken by Registered Gas Engineer highlighting that as many as 70% of all installers in the UK are looking to be trained to install heat pumps in 2023 – up from just 19% this time last year. Installers operating at the sharp end of the industry are adopting the sensible approach that with heat pumps clearly being encouraged by the Government, increasingly being accepted by the new homes sector and offering a very clear option for replacement heating systems despite what the boiler lobby is saying, it’s clear that heat pumps – in particular air to water heat pumps – are gaining significant ground when it comes to acceptance as the key technology for renewable heating and hot water in the UK. 

The increasing sales and installations of heat pumps simply cannot be ignored. The heating sector is voting with its feet. Of course, there will always be room for alternatives on a local scale but there is no sensible, proven alternative to heat pumps across the country – whether on or off grid any more. And even those who have fought tooth and nail to stop heat pumps in the UK in their tracks are giving in and investing in their own heat pump manufacturing facilities as the demand for them grows, the realisation that hydrogen is still a long way off as a volume solution dawns and the realisation becomes ever clearer that heat pumps can actually do a very good job for the UK heating sector.. 

Stepping up training opportunities and providing facilities will be key to providing the resources that the heating industry is saying it wants and there has to be a role for Government to provide the levels of training we will need to be able to accommodate 600,000 heat pumps a year being installed by 2028. The relatively conservative investment being made in the Boiler Replacement Scheme needs matching and more in supporting training of the cohorts of installers lining up to be trained on the new technology. 

As with other heat pump manufacturers, LG is contributing to the new wave of heat pump ready installers and specifiers with a range of excellent highly efficient heat pumps offering at least four times the levels of energy efficiency that the most efficient boiler can. Almost monthly, new developments are unleashed that see the heat pumps getting more efficient, less expensive and even easier to fit. It’s not a static market – it’s a constantly improving one that sees every aspect of the heat pump revolution driving the heat pump market onwards and upwards. Just take a look at the number of stands at this June’s Installer Live exhibition to get a feel for where the installer network of the UK is taking heat pumps. Very seriously is the only possible conclusion.  

A future-ready HVAC solution, LG’s Therma V R290 Monobloc adopts R290 refrigerant, which comes with a GWP of just three, to pre-emptively respond to refrigerant regulations that will come into force across Europe in 2025.  

The new Therma V R290 Monobloc offers easy management with convenient remote service. Software updates and installer settings can be quickly taken care of via remote support, offering customers a hassle-free user experience. Remote system diagnosis is also available via LG’s Building Energy Control (BECON) cloud. 

Unveiled for the first time at the recent ISH Show in Frankfurt, the new ASHP delivers improved water heating performance and reliable low-temperature operation. Along with providing a leaving water temperature of up to 75 degrees Celsius, the Therma V R290 Monobloc dependably operates at full capacity in temperatures as low as negative 15 degrees Celsius. 

LG also presented the newest addition to its Therma V R32 Split line up, the Therma V R32 Split 4 & 6kW series, at ISH 2023. The new models are more compact in size and lighter in weight than those from the original line up, which makes them a good choice for smaller spaces and easier for HVAC technicians to install, as well. Because they have small capacities, Therma V R32 Split 4 & 6kW series solutions do not require a large amount of refrigerant to operate. As a result, the products’ indoor units are exempt from the minimum floor area requirements typically imposed on solutions employing R32 refrigerant. This translates to greater design flexibility and can further simplify the installation process. 

Heat pumps work. They are available and they are delivering. Already. The potential for heat pumps is immense. With an investment in more renewable electricity generation – onshore and offshore wind, solar PV – the dream of Zero Carbon by 2050 is in danger of becoming a reality in the UK. It needs broad minds and a new realism. A willingness to believe the possible and make it happen step by step. And it needs to see the heating industry talking to each other about the best way forwards, rather than hiding heads in the sand and hoping that the Government will extend the deadlines for fossil fueled boilers to be used in UK homes for a little longer….