Star role for Glasgow’s renewable energy heat pumps at UK Future Thermal conference

Dave Pearson
Dave Pearson

Glasgow-based Star Renewable Energy has been lined up as a ‘star’ participant at the ‘future thermal energy’ conference at Warwick University this autumn for its pioneering role in developing and installing the first air source heat pump installation in Britain to provide central renewable heating for residential high-rise buildings.

Large heat pumps are increasingly expected to play a key role in meeting government heating de-carbonisation targets and Star’s innovative large scale air source heat pump is expected to become the pathway to low carbon and cheaper heat for existing social housing homes.

The 400kW air source ‘Neat pump’ is connected to a district heating network which delivers low carbon heating and hot water to seven high-rise blocks in the city’s Hillpark Drive housing scheme.

Dave Pearson, Director, Star Renewable Energy, said: “At eight metres long and weighing 10 tonnes, the air source heat pump incorporates in-built control systems to enable remote monitoring and ensure optimum efficiency throughout its life-cycle, which is designed to exceed 20 years.

“With the use of highly durable industrial components, water temperatures of 60°C are achieved, allowing for standardised radiators to be used.

“Air source heat pumps are suited to the UK’s mild climate as warmth is extracted from the outside air and then boosted for distribution. The properties are connected via heat interface units to a wet central heating system and thermostatically controlled showers without the need for bulky cylinders”

Conference organiser Joel Cardinal, Head of Energy and Sustainability at Warwick University, explained:There has never been a clearer understanding of the need for a different relationship between business, large estates and energy.

“Up until fairly recently this has focussed on the relationship with electricity but for some time in the background there has been a growing appreciation of the inter-relationship between the various energy vectors.

“This conference picks up the question: “Okay so we have gas CHP – but what next?”

“This comes from a recognition that our carbon footprint is rising, the tax regime around self-generation is changing and the rise in demand for cooling is also pronounced.

“The reality is that we need to be compliant not just with our 2016 challenges but where the policy expects us to get to. That doesn’t just mean finding fancier ways to burn gas – it means complete decarbonisation of heat and power within a generation.”

Dave Pearson is due to talk on the positive role that heat pumps can play in de-carbonising space-heating (and/or cooling) at the two-day event on 10-11 October.

He added: “Many people believe that renewable energy is solely for modern buildings. However our newly developed product demonstrates this is most certainly not the case.”

“If the government’s ambitious targets for a complete cessation in the use of fossil fuels for heating are to be realised, we need sustainable and lower cost central community heatpumps, capable of retrofit without the constraints and high infrastructure costs associated with other renewable technologies.”

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