Hamid Salimi, Product Specialist – Heating and Renewables at Daikin UK, speaks to PHPI about hybrid heat pumps.
What is a hybrid heat pump system and how does it differ from a standard heating system?
A hybrid heat pump combines renewable air-to-water heat pump technology with a gas condensing boiler, to ensure the highest efficiency. Hybrid heat pump systems are typically designed to select the most efficient mode of operation, choosing between heat pump, gas boiler and hybrid modes. Some advanced hybrid systems are equipped with the smart programming to automatically determine the most economically and energy efficient combination based on energy prices, outdoor temperatures and indoor heat capacity.
How does a hybrid heat pump system help improve energy efficiency?
Advanced hybrid systems are equipped with the smart programming to automatically determine the most economical and energy efficient combination based on energy prices, outdoor temperatures and indoor heat capacity. For example, different fuels such as gas and electricity can be set for the hybrid system via the user interface. The hybrid heat pump system will then determine and run in “Ecological Mode” by using the fuel with the lower primary energy factor.
Also, when working in heat pump mode, the system is powered by renewable energy extracted from the air and can achieve up to A++ energy efficiency.
Can a hybrid heat pump be installed alongside the existing boiler in a property?
Yes, some heat pumps can be installed alongside the existing boiler. The 2nd generation of Daikin Altherma Hybrid or Daikin Altherma Hybrid 2 for example, can be paired with the existing boiler (or a boiler from another manufacturer) as a ‘bi-valent’ system so the user can switch between the heat pump or the boiler, but not run both in hybrid operation. Again, by using the smart programming, this heat pump can determine the outdoor temperature and then decide when to switch between the heat pump and the boiler modes to ensure high efficiency and guaranteed comfort.
Do installers need F-Gas qualification?
For the refrigerant based split hybrid system, installers will require F-Gas qualification. For the monobloc hybrid system, no F-Gas qualifications are required. For example, the 2nd generation of Daikin Altherma Hybrid or Daikin Altherma Hybrid 2 has a monobloc configuration where the refrigerant gas is safely contained within a sealed circuit. The installed will only need to fit the water connections and therefore they will not require F-Gas qualification.
What kind of heat emitters can be used with a hybrid heat pump system. Can existing radiators and pipework be used?
Whilst in gas boiler mode, hybrid systems can provide high leaving water temperatures e.g. 80°C and therefore these systems can be used for the existing radiators.
What kinds of controls are required? Can hybrid systems be operated from a smartphone?
Yes, a hybrid system can be operated remotely from a smartphone.