New Solar Kit Enables Daikin Altherma Heat Pump Systems to Generate Domestic Hot Water Via Solar Heating Collectors
A little over a year ago, Daikin Europe launched its air to water Altherma heat pump heating and domestic hot water system in response to increasing energy prices and the growing movement towards the use of renewable energy sources.
The system has nominal heating capacities between 5.75 and 16kW, is some 3 to 4 times more energy efficient than traditional fossil fuel boilers and has been extended for use in conjunction with solar heating panels for the supply of domestic hot water.
Altherma produces hot water in a purpose designed stainless steel tank and the new Daikin solar kit enables this tank to be connected to a field supplied solar collector. The kit can be connected to current solar heating systems and incorporates special control software, which enables it to prioritise hot water production via the solar collector. If the solar collector is not able to provide sufficient energy, the system switches automatically to heat pump operation or to the booster heater in the water tank. This arrangement allows between 30 and 70% of the energy required for annual domestic hot water to emanate, free of charge, from the sun. In warmer climates this primary energy source can produce water temperatures as high as 90°C on the sunniest days of the year.
The Daikin solar kit comprises a heat exchanger and an insulated circulator pump, which is mounted onto the existing 200 or 300 litre Altherma water tank plus an electronic card providing the necessary communication between the various elements within the system.
During heat pump operation Altherma delivers hot water to the lower part of the water tank at 55°C, which can be boosted to higher temperatures by the electric heater in the upper part of the tank.
Solar energy is, of course, free and available to some degree or other throughout the year. The running costs of a solar heated domestic hot water system are therefore, minimal. Furthermore, the system requires little or no maintenance after set-up and no extra room space is needed to achieve the additional increase in usable energy.
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