When designing multivalent heat pump systems, considering the optimal operational design conditions of both technologies, including the hydronic design, is essential to maximise heat pump utilisation while maintaining system performance and overall efficiency.
Blending traditional heating with low and zero-carbon technologies (LZCT) – from combined heat and power and biomass to ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps (ASHP) – is a time-tested method to reduce the carbon intensity of the heating source.
While a fully served ASHP building will achieve one of the lowest carbon footprints in new commercial building stock, it is naïve to think that we can engineer all projects and budgets fully with just ASHPs at present. Physical space, available electrical power and/or CAPEX budget are just some of the restrictions typically encountered.
For this reason, integrating ASHPs and high-efficiency condensing boilers in a hybrid system is currently a more practicable solution as it can overcome project limitations while meeting heat demand more sustainably. The challenge, however, is to design the heat pump and boiler into a harmonious design that successfully maximises the efficiency of both technologies.