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Fuelling the future with Worcester Bosch

Fuelling the future with Worcester Bosch (homes connected to the gas grid)

Worcester Bosch and the heating industry go hand in hand.  Therefore its no surprise Worcester have taken a key role in assisting in the practical adoption of the Governments ‘net zero’ carbon target.  Total Energy Services have enjoyed a close relationship with Worcester Bosch for many years and are proud to be an accredited gold installer. Therefore we have been kept right up to date with any changes that may affect our customers.

The fantastic thing about Worcester is the appreciation that it isn’t ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to heating your home.

  1. Technology 1: Hydrogen-ready boilers

Hydrogen ready zero carbon boiler. A hydrogen ready boiler is a gas fired boiler which can burn both natural gas or pure hydrogen. Hydrogen produces no carbon dioxide or monoxide at point of use. It can be manufactured from green sources such as water via electricity or via natural gas accompanied by carbon capture and storage.

A hydrogen-ready boiler can quickly and easily be converted to burn hydrogen when the time comes for the local network to be switched over.

Advantages of Hydrogen

Many UK homes are not sufficiently insulated to accommodate low heat systems such as heat pumps. Hydrogen-ready boilers provide a cost effective way to decarbonise heat, whilst still providing a comfortable ambience within your home. From a users point of view a hydrogen ready boiler will provide the same level of comfort and ease of use as their existing boiler. Essentially a hydrogen ready boiler functions in much the same way as a gas boiler.

How much does a hydrogen ready boiler cost?

The cost to install a hydrogen ready boiler which is much the same as a gas boiler.

2. Technology 2: Heat pumps

Heat pumps are relatively new to the UK market but they are used a lot more in Europe where there is an abundance of renewably sourced electricity. In very basic terms a heat pump takes outside air and transfers it into heat to be circulated around a heating and hot water system.

There are two available types;

Air source;

Taking air from the outside, the unit contains a fan which draws in the air before circulating it around a refrigerant circuit which is then compressed to a high temperature and transferred around the heating system.

Ground source;

Collects heat from the ground, therefore is more expensive and invasive to install as it requires a collection system to capture the heat.

What’s better air source heat pump or ground source heat pump?

A ground source heat pump does tend to be more efficient across all outside temperature situations hence the much heftier price tag.

How does it differ from a boiler?

A boiler runs off a higher temperature as they are to switch on and off with ease depending on your heating requirements. A heat pump runs off a low temperature system therefore it is best to have the heat pump running all the time.

What is the annual running cost of a heat pump?

This will vary from home to home, however a well insulated house built to new building regulations will be less expensive than a less insulated home. A heat pump is costly to run when it is generating higher temperatures. The heat would need to run at a higher temperature usually because the home is not insulated enough meaning the heat loss is too high. Another factor could be that the radiators are too small. Heat pumps is used with radiators will usually need to be 2.5 times bigger than your radiators needed with a gas or oil boiler. Therefore your bills could end up rather high and your home could feel more cold than you are used too with your traditional boiler.

How much does a heat pump cost?

As a ball park figure it is around £8,000 for an air source heat pump and can be up to £20,000 for a ground source. There are government grants of up top £5000. However it MUST be factored in that often the property will need to undergo energy efficiency works prior to the installation which can for some properties equate to an additional £18,000.

Technology 3. Hybrid system

Hybrid systems are a combination of two or more technologies generating heat to provide heating and hot water to a property.

Examples;

  • gas / oil fired boiler and heat pump
  • solar panels with log burner

For our article we will look at a boiler being combined with an air source heat pump.

For a heat pump to work efficiently the temperature of the water being generated should be kept s low as possible – around 40 degrees maximum. Over 80% of the UK housing stock is built prior to 1960 and IS NOT sufficiently insulated to make the most of this new technology.

On top of this many of these properties have radiators that were sized based on a water temperature which was around 75°.   Boilers are designed to be used intermittently as and when needed.

Heat pumps work best with a lower temperature around 40°-45° not 75° therefore a your home could feel rather cool in the colder months meaning the home owner will resort to additional heat sources being employed and more carbon being used.

A major advantage of a hybrid system is the reduced alterations needed for the home.

To substitute a gas or oil fired boiler totally for a heat pump is likely to require improvements to the fabric of the home such as well as radiators being re sized along with pipework to ensure they can cope with the lower temperature water.

Even more significantly is the 17 million homes with a combi or combination boilers installed which no longer have a hot water storage cylinder.

These homes would then be required to have a hot water storage cylinder stored somewhere which may not be feasible without adversely impacting the home owner. Where space is a premium, you may have to take a portion of the landing or a bedroom to site it the tank which would require additional construction work and costs.

A hybrid system would work well in this case, in the cooler months where a heat pump wouldn’t be sufficient the boiler would kick in and in warmer times where heating is still required the heat pump could kick it.

For more information on hybrid systems click here.

What next?

If you have any questions why not give our friendly team a call on 01258 472132 or fill in the enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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