Millions of pounds in government innovation funding will be awarded to two dozen projects looking to address technical and skills barriers to heat pump use
A heat pump with integrated heat storage functions and an app to improve system commissioning are among the recipients of low carbon innovation funding.
Two dozen technology projects will receive a shared pot of financing through the government’s ‘Heat Pump Ready’ programme that was unveiled as part of its 2021 Heat and Buildings Strategy.
A total of £15.03m in funding is being provided to these projects via the second of three work streams established under the Heat Pump Ready programme. The second stream sets aside up to £25m to assist with the development of technologies that can help address some of the main barriers holding back adoption of heat pumps in UK buildings.
Other projects to receive funds through the stream include the development of pre-fabricated modular systems that make use of integrated sensors, as well a pilot for an AI sizing solution to determine the heating requirements of a property.
Among the recipients are Thormer Solutions, which will receive over £1.5m to develop the Total Heat-Pump Installation Solution (THIS). This is an app that can aid installers in surveying, installing and then commissioning heat pump systems.
Thormer Solutions has been established by Griff Thomas of GTEC Training and Paul Harmer of Inventive Software, who is also lead technical consultant for CIPHE.
The technology is said to be at an early stage of development, but will also allow consumers to help choose an installer and also create a visual of what a system may look like when installed.
Mr Thomas said the app was based on shared experiences of working to install low carbon heat systems and would meet the needs of engineers for practical calculation and design tools.
He said: “End-users will have access to the very latest web technologies, such as augmented reality (AR), so they can get a better understanding of the look and feel of their finished system. All paperwork will be stored in one place, reducing installer admin and providing peace of mind for their customers.”
A system being developed by a group called Green Energy Options will receive over £474,000 to help with development of an AI Smart Heath Pathway. The solution is intended to make use of AI technologies that can be combined with smart meter and smart thermostat data to help determine how heat pumps can best be implemented to decarbonise a home.
A sum of £1.49M will be provided to Ventive to assist with the development of a modular heat pump system that can be pre-plumbed and pre-configured with controls and energy storage before arriving on site.
The company is partnered with QM-Systems and Clear Blue Energy on the project with the aim of offering more simple to installed systems that can offer integrated ventilation, heating and hot water with causing disturbance in properties.
Another aim of the technology will be to make use of in-built sensors to help adapt heat pump performance to meet the specific needs of individual properties based on thermal mass, user behaviour and heat loss.
Kensa Heat Pumps will meanwhile be awarded £1.2m to assist with creating what it calls a Highly Flexible Storage Heat Pump (HFSHP). The company is working in partnership with MTC and the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) formed at the University of Strathclyde.
A major feature of the HFSHP is the use of a thermal battery solution intended to store heat energy for a significant period of time.
The company claimed this storage potential is increased through the direct integration of thermal storage with the refrigeration circuit in the system to improve efficiency and limit the instances of heat exchange.
The award of finance through the Heat Pump Ready Programme is expected to allow for production of the system to be ramped up with just a limited number of prototypes currently in use.
Kensa Heat Pumps technical director Dan Roberts said the system could be an important step to deliver on planned UK heat pump installation targets set to come into effect from 2028.
He said: “This funding, and the group of skilled partners we have assembled, will accelerate development time and allow the project to move much quicker.”
The full list of recipients under steam 2 of the Heat Pump Ready Programme can be found here.