The £20m Smart Community Project is moving to a three-year demonstration phase running to the end of March 2017. Daikin, is one of a trinity of companies in the Japanese consortium, which also includes Hitachi and the Mizuho Bank. It was announced last week that the project to transform energy usage in the UK would include the installation of about 600 Daikin electric and hybrid heat pumps.
Launched at last week’s Ecobuild exhibition, the Daikin Altherma hybrid heat pump combines a high efficiency gas combi boiler and an air-to-water heat pump.
Unlike other available boiler/heat pump combinations, it works in series rather than in parallel; the flow of one can feed into the return of the other in certain economical operating modes. The boiler and heat pump can run in combination or in isolation.
The Daikin Altherma hybrid heat pump comprises of a single, compact, combined indoor unit, plus an outdoor heat pump unit.
It has three operating modes, automatically switching between each mode to achieve the most cost efficient operation. At higher ambient temperatures, when the heat pump has sufficient capacity to cover the heat load, only the heat pump will operate. In hybrid mode, as the outdoor temperatures decreases and the heat load increases, the boiler provides additional capacity to support the heat pump. In this mode, heating water is pre-heated by the more efficient heat pump, reducing the energy consumed by the boiler. Finally, when the ambient temperature decreases further and the heat pump becomes less cost efficient, the heat pump is switched off and the boiler provides the full heating capacity.
In selecting the most cost-effective heating mode it takes into account external temperatures and internal heat and hot water demand, as well as the relative cost of gas and electricity.
Daikin UK is launching the hybrid at a series of local Roadshows around the country from March 24.