The future of commercial heat pumps is a positive one. As we see a shift in how the entire world consumes and produces energy with a view to a significant reduction in carbon emissions and a push for renewable energy sources, a heat pump could provide an answer to the problem in many countries, including the UK. The government in the UK has aimed to reduce energy usage by 15% by 2030 to reduce energy bills and as part of its wider Net Zero target for 2050. Renewable energy sources, such as heat pumps are one of the ways in which these targets can be achieved in an effective manner.
The benefits are there to be seen with heat pump technology that has been developed recently that could lead to an 80% reduction in energy through commercial heat pumps. If the technology develops well there could be a low carbon, high-temperature heat provided to many industries in the UK. This could result in the significant reduction in energy that the government is searching for, and that is needed if we are all to make efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.
When you look at how industry in the UK functions, it is no surprise that heat pump technology and similar renewable energy projects are being trialled to scale out to cover wider industry. 70% of all industrial energy demand is for heat, where the brewing, pharmaceutical, and food production industries utilise heat processing for the 100-200C range through high-temperature steam. A lot of this steam and heat is wasted, whereas new heat pump technology could be used to recycle the low-grade waste involved and significantly reduce waste. The double effect of reducing energy costs and improving the carbon footprint of the industry is a tempting prospect for any business owner.
How do heat pumps work?
A heat pump extracts heat from a source, usually from the surrounding air, from geothermal energy that is stored in the ground, or from a water source that is close to the property it is to service. The heat that is sourced is amplified and transferred to wherever it is needed within the system.
Compared with most traditional heating technologies and systems, heat pumps are much more efficient and cheaper to run. The way it works, the output of energy is often much greater than what is required, making for a much more energy-efficient system than a traditional gas boiler. There is also the option to combine a heat pump with a hybrid configuration including gas heating systems.
The UK energy reduction goal
There is a two-pronged attack by the UK government in terms of its energy reduction goals. There is a commitment as part of the Paris Agreement to reach net zero emissions by 2050, cutting emissions by 68% by 2030 when compared with 1990 levels. Another consideration in the past couple of years is to help the public with the high energy costs that have spiralled out of control. By cutting energy usage by 15% before 2030, there is a hope that bills will be reduced, catching up with countries in Europe that have already put in place measures to counter higher energy costs.
One of the biggest problems facing Britain is that its housing stock is old and not energy efficient in the ways that it needs to be to implement real environmental change that reduces carbon emissions and keeps energy costs down. Upgrading boilers, insulation, and installing energy-efficient heating systems utilising renewable energy sources where possible, is the process that the UK must go through to meet long-term targets for net zero emissions and to lower energy costs for its citizens.
What are the different types of heat pumps?
The main types of heat pumps are:
Air source heat pump
An air source heat pump takes the cold refrigerant and starts its journey in the outside unit. This absorbs heat energy from the air that is blown across a heat exchanger with fans. As a large volume of air passes over the heat exchanger, it is effective even when the air is cold during the winter months.
Ground source heat pump
A ground source heat pump gathers heat from water that is circulating in underground pipes. This is then pumped to a heat exchanger that is located within the property. The cooler water is mixed with antifreeze and passes through the heat exchanger, which then transfers to the refrigerant and goes on to the compressor circuit.
Are heat pumps efficient?
Heat pumps offer greater functionality and efficiency than traditional heating systems, especially in industrial, manufacturing, and production environments where there is a pressing need for consistent heat and energy. The amount of heat that is produced by a heat pump is greater than the electricity it uses, making it a suitable option.
Installing heat pumps gives any business owner a great chance to save money on energy bills, which continue to be a problem for many commercial and residential premises throughout the UK.