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Environmental technology manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric has launched an incredibly efficient new heating system that harvests and upgrades the energy found naturally in the outdoor air to minimise energy use within our homes and dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
The Ecodan™ heat pump boiler gathers over 70 per cent of the heat energy it needs from the surrounding air, making it significantly more efficient at providing heating and hot water than modern condensing gas boilers.
The energy in the air that surrounds us is a key sustainable resource that doesn’t currently factor into people’s thinking and installing Ecodan can therefore help developers and house builders achieve Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Introduced in 2006 as part of a growing body of legislation aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, the Code sets national standards for the sustainable design and construction of homes.
The average UK household currently produces over 4 tonnes of CO2 per year with space and water heating accounting for more than 73 per cent of this. Ecodan uses proven heat pump technology to reduce CO2 by 1,500kg less than a gas-fired boiler and 3,000kg less than an oil-fired. It offers outstanding performance against electric storage heating, solid fuel, oil or LPG and emits at least 30 per cent less CO2 than the latest modern condensing gas boilers.
With a conventional gas-fired boiler, 1kW of input energy provides less than 1kW of output energy or heat. In comparison, the Ecodan boiler converts every 1kW of input energy into an average of 3.6kW of output energy or heat, making it over three times more efficient than even the most modern gas boiler and the ideal choice for low cost heating and hot water.
“As a country we need to build at least 200,000 new homes a year and at the same time the Government is calling for these homes to be as energy efficient as possible,” explained Jason Tinsley, Technical and Product Marketing Manager for Mitsubishi Electric’s Heating Department. “We estimate that by 2016, over 720,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved each year if these new houses use heat pump technology to meet the hot water and space heating requirements rather than gas.”
Ecodan, which has BRE* testing to validate performance, uses a sealed vapour compression cycle similar to a domestic refrigerator to exchange heat (or energy) between the outdoor air and the water supply. Ecodan comes as a simple to install, packaged system that is perfect for use in a variety of house sizes and styles. Ecodan is a new generation air source heat pump boiler (ASHPB) that is specifically designed for the UK’s domestic market and achieves an average of between 10 – 30 per cent reduction in running costs over gas, depending on the age of the gas boiler being replaced.
Significantly quieter and smaller than previous generations of ASHPBs, Ecodan is easy to install, requiring an in/out water and single-phase electrical connection. The company also stresses the need for exacting standards of installation coupled with modern levels of building insulation to ensure the greatest efficiency for each home.
Unlike previous forms of heat pump boiler, Ecodan’s carefully developed control system has been specifically designed to provide hot water to either underfloor heating systems or traditional radiators in properties with appropriate levels of thermal insulation. “Over 250,000 heat pump systems were installed in Europe in 2006 so this type of heating is already proven and the advances made in this technology now offer huge potential to help the country reduce emissions,” commented Tinsley.
The Ecodan boiler uses inverter-driven technology to regulate the heat output and this, coupled with advances in motor technology and sophisticated electronic controls all contribute to increase performance and efficiency.
The launch of this new boiler is part of Mitsubishi Electric’s Green Gateway Initiative™, a bold and ambitious 10-point plan which points the way towards a reduction of 3 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2016. Further details can be found at www.greengatewayinitiative.co.uk.