Star Renewable Energy launches world’s largest industrial air-source heat pump

Guests attend launch of Star Renewable Energy's  new air source heat pump
Guests attend launch of Star Renewable Energy’s new air source heat pump

Glasgow-based Star Renewable Energy has launched its new air source heat pump (ASHP) at a facility where, by coincidence, the new series of Robot Wars is currently being filmed.

While Star Renewable Energy’s innovation doesn’t involve flamethrowers or pneumatically-powered axes, the system certainly proved to be of great interest to observers within the low carbon heating sector, with a reverse cycle hot gas defrost and active control system designed to maximise uptime and efficiency.

The air source development, which has been integrated with a district heating design, is the latest in a long line of innovations that have been brought to life by the joint thinking of a team of experts from Star Renewable Energy, Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), British Gas and consultants WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.

A Star Renewables spokesman said, “A clean air, decarbonised society in 2035 will need heat-pumps capable of retrofit, not just other ways of burning stuff.

“In temperatures of up to 65 degrees C and 700 KW, the air source heat pump provides 3 units of heat for each unit of energy consumed and can be used to retrofit large buildings as well as new buildings and industrial processes.

“The air source development is currently being tested under real weather conditions outside Star’s factory and in Glasgow has been confirmed to exceed modelling performance targets.

Extensive modelling and real-life testing have demonstrated that the high temperature air source heatpump can deliver effective and affordable heating to existing social housing with the result of a 53% drop in carbon footprint – dropping even further as the grid decarbonises.”

As one of the largest social landlords in the UK, GHA focused on lower costs, lower carbon solutions for their customers, and drove the initial assessment process. British Gas brought their design, project management and commercial skills in to deliver an innovative “wet system” design, which, when put in conjunction with SRE’s pioneering design, has been proven to break temperature and efficiency barriers.

The GHA will also lead the deployment project once the heatpump has been fully tested and is ready to be despatched.

Robert Kilpatrick, Assistant Director (Development & Operations) of Strathclyde University –  who witnessed the testing of the large air source heatpump – said, “I think it goes without saying that heatpumps are starting to offer a different type of solution to tackle carbon reduction on a large scale for generating heat

“So, it’s a fantastic new development which compliments the water source heat pumps that Star have already had some achievement on – well done to them.”

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