Heat pumps for residential buildings: things to consider when choosing one
Society seems to be more and more sensitive to the environmental issue and how the switch from traditional heating technologies to heat pumps can make a positive impact.
According to the European Heat Pump Association (EPHA) the heating and cooling sector is responsible for 51% of final energy demand in Europe, and for 27% of its CO2 emissions (https://bit.ly/3NFGk0r). That means it is practically impossible to think to minimize our environmental impact without decarbonising heating and cooling.
In the recent years heat pumps have seemed to gain relevance as a solution to achieve the decarbonization of the construction sector. Heat pumps can provide heating, cooling, hot water, and are a valuable solution not just for commercial spaces, but also for residential buildings, both in single and multi-family homes. And not just for new buildings. They can also be used in renovations.
That is very important, as most of the buildings’ heating systems in our cities rely on boilers running on fossil fuels such as natural gas and oil. As a result of that, heating and hot water account for a huge percentage of our city’s total greenhouse gas emissions. But by choosing heat pumps instead of traditional heating systems, this trend is expected to gradually change.
Meeting the needs of the building while making it more energy efficient
Whether it is a new building or a renovation, to provide a residential building with an environmentally friendly heating system that can also meet all the needs in terms of indoor comfort, it is important to have an extremely energy efficient solution, that can provide, of course, heating or cooling depending on the season, but also hot sanitary water, then offering a triple benefit. All of that with a unit
- in a capacity range that makes sense for the size of the building
- that can meet the footprint constraints that a small residential building might present
- and finally, that can easily adapt the actual demand of the building in the different times of the day or the year
Low combined CO2 emissions
To have a system that can really help decarbonizing heating and cooling in our homes, it is very important to choose a heat pump that is as energy efficient as possible, and that uses a low GWP (global warming potential) refrigerant. Meaning that it is important to have a product that can guarantee low indirect CO2 emissions from low energy consumption and low direct CO2 emissions thanks to low GWP refrigerant.
So, new generation heat pumps using a gas that perfectly balances very high energy efficiency and reduced GWP are needed.
R-32 is often a great solution, as it is a refrigerant that can convey heat in a very efficient way and can significantly reduce electricity consumptions compared to traditional refrigerants – the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of units with R-32 refrigerant is higher than conventional refrigerants (R-410A), and its peak power consumption is also lower.
R-32 also has zero ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential), while its GWP (Global Warming Potential) is 675. Also, R-32 can reduce the charging volume by 30% compared conventional refrigerants such as R-410A. All that can result in a 76% decrease in CO2 emissions compared to conventional technology running on R-410A, for instance.
Reclamation, then, is another important aspect. R-32, in fact, not being a blend of refrigerants, can be easily reclaimed. It can be recovered during maintenance operations, for instance, and also reused. That makes it even a more environmentally friendly solution.
Another aspect to take into account is footprint. Small residential buildings usually can only dedicate very small spaces to HVAC equipment, especially if those buildings are existing ones being renovated.
It is important, then, to choose heat pump units able to provide all the capacity and energy efficiency needed, while keeping footprint of the unit as compact as possible.
The new R-32 Small Inverter Chiller
The new Small Inverter Chiller and Heat Pump Series featuring R-32 refrigerant can be an extremely valuable choice for the purpose of making relatively small residential buildings such as single or multi-family houses, environmentally friendly.
This air-cooled scroll compressor solution, besides providing cooling or heating depending on the need of a specific moment of the year, it can also provide sanitary hot water up to 60 °C. The new Series can cover capacities ranging from 16 kW to 90 kW, keeping the footprint of the units very compact.
The heat pump version of this Series is designed to cope with an ambient temperature range from -20 ˚C to 35 ˚C (heating mode).
Notable among the outstanding features offered as standard by this Series are the Daikin design DC-Inverter Scroll compressors, high efficiency Daikin design DC-Inverter fans with a selectable silent mode, and an inverter pump kit with both low and high lift variants.
These components make the Small Inverter Chiller a full inverter Series, which perfectly addresses the important aspect of load variation, helping the heating system delivering exactly what is needed by the facility in the different moments of the day, then, raising the energy efficiency of the system.
This Series also stands out for its enhanced ability to connect to the Internet through the Internet of Things. Thanks to that, a dedicated Mobile Configuration App can be used to make commissioning extremely easy and quick.
And finally, there the reliability aspect.
Daikin has a huge experience in developing R-32 technology, which is now a standard in the residential sector.
Daikin has been focusing on R-32 refrigerant since 2012, when replaced R-410a with R-32 in most of the residential Air Conditioning products. Since then, Daikin has been pushing forward its commitment in using this refrigerant, extending it to Applied product as well.
In 2018, Daikin was an early innovator in the industrial and commercial sector as well, making history by introducing the first R-32 refrigerant chillers, followed by free-cooling scroll units the same year, and the R-32 Heat Pump in 2020.
Today, Daikin is the brand with the highest number of R-32 installations in the world, as a testimony to the experience, the knowledge, the quality and the reliability of its R-32 products.
Read more here about being pioneers in R-32 technology development
Are you interested in having more information about the new Daikin R-32 Small Inverter Chiller? Then, get in touch with the form below.