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Air Source Heat Pump Policies – MCS Planning Standards

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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@jamespa None whatsoever! Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@derek-m)
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@toodles

The point that I was making is that we as humans notice a new different sound, but most of us will eventually accept it and filter it out.


   
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(@elton)
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I wouldn't call special categorisation of heat pump noise as discrimination. It's evening the playing field on the basis of capacity to cause nuisance. At present an intermitted steamy boiler gush at 42db(A) gets compared to a buzzing heat pump [without regard for tonality, and potential vibration noise]. 

 

To protect rollout, drive industry improvement, drive better consumer and installer choices regs should be tightened. This will lead to better, quieter tech and ultimately no need for noise regs. At present warehouses are still rammed to the brink with cheap heat pumps designed (for the Korean market) years ago that will be sold for ages. 

 

When I stick my head out of my back bedroom window on a winter's day I see boiler gushes down the street and hear a gentle gush - that is unless the HP next door is on which cuts across the scene (and can be heard easily when the window closes... and the vibration noise can be heard further inside). I read that one of the forum members had hosted people in a visit-my-pump event. He said he'd turned 4 people onto heat pumps. I'd say there's 20 people who are fully turned off the tech by the problematic one next to me - even though I've told them I would have one (well-fitted, decent quality). And they'll tell people who will tell people. If increased rollout (and to denser areas) leads to what DESNZ say - more issues and complaints - this is going to taint the tech. I'd argue for action now on something I feel is quite a risk to rollout.

I know some think that tightening noise regs is anti-heat pump in the context of a rapid rollout and noise nuisance unhelpfully having been labelled as a "myth" [although this myth view is slowly dying a death]. I'd argue that tightening noise regs is one of the most pro-heat pump things one could advocate for.


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
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@elton I take it that Korea (South?) has a much more ‘relaxed’ attitude to noise pollution than some countries? Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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(@elton)
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Posted by: @toodles

@elton I take it that Korea (South?) has a much more ‘relaxed’ attitude to noise pollution than some countries? Regards, Toodles.

I'm not entirely sure, it could be. But there are so many variables eg Korean climate is warmer in summer and colder in winter, housing stock is different, its a rapidly developed economy etc etc etc. Perhaps there are many many flats all with tiny heat pumps and everyone is more tolerant of noise because of the extremes and is used to air-con etc etc etc.

In the UK, our housing stock, our climate, streets, gardens, neighbourhoods, cultural expectations, tolerances means we do not welcome or accept a low hum across a neighbourhood of suburban semis as a norm. We either try to change all of that, or we ensure heat pump tech is quieter.

The only viable way forward is to ensure heat pump tech is quieter.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Elton

   
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Mars
 Mars
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Having lived and visited various hot climates, I've found AC units to be significantly louder than air source heat pumps. Despite observing numerous heat pumps and reviewing several videos, it's hard for me to envision them causing disruption in a street, neighbourhood or community.

I have requested people that have complained about the noise of heat pumps to send me videos with dB readings, but am yet to receive a single video.

While I acknowledge some units may be noisier than others, our own heat pump—quite a beastly model—wouldn't disturb our sleep even if it were placed near our bedroom. Our decision to "hide" it was purely for aesthetic reasons, a topic for another discussion.

Compared to the intrusive noise from road and motorbike traffic, the gentle hum of our heat pump's fans seems almost negligible.

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Toodles
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@editor Mars, your heat pump is some distance from the property isn’t it? I would be interested to know please, how that pipe run was insulated as presumably, otherwise there would have been significant heat loss (and warming of garden!) over ??? metres of run. Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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Mars
 Mars
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@toodles the unit is 25m from the house but we never hear it even from the front door which about 10 metres away. The nearest A road to us is over half a mile away, and in the summer when we are actually outside it's much noisier than our heat pump from 10 metres away in the winter when we're not actually enjoy the garden. I think we've all just become accustomed and used to traffic noise. 

To answer your other question we ran a heat loss from the heat pump to the house under the gravel driveaway.

insulated pipework
insulated pipework 2

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(@jamespa)
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Posted by: @editor

Having lived and visited various hot climates, I've found AC units to be significantly louder than air source heat pumps. Despite observing numerous heat pumps and reviewing several videos, it's hard for me to envision them causing disruption in a street, neighbourhood or community.

I have requested people that have complained about the noise of heat pumps to send me videos with dB readings, but am yet to receive a single video.

While I acknowledge some units may be noisier than others, our own heat pump—quite a beastly model—wouldn't disturb our sleep even if it were placed near our bedroom. Our decision to "hide" it was purely for aesthetic reasons, a topic for another discussion.

Compared to the intrusive noise from road and motorbike traffic, the gentle hum of our heat pump's fans seems almost negligible.

Reading the specs there seems to be a bit of a spread with the newer, higher end being quieter and, I suspect, having little or no tonality.  Older models are probably closer to their Aircon origins, with the more recent models (usually but not always in black) they have clearly taken more trouble.  

Personally I do think there would be a justification for a modified sound power value which takes some simple account of tonality.  However I can't see it happening unless driven by the EU; I doubt we have enough civil servants with a sufficient background in engineering/science to come up with something workable, our politicians wouldn't have a scooby, and why would the industry bother for the uk market alone.

Some heat pumps, incidentally, have a quiet mark certification which claims to take into account tonality, but this offers no practical advantage in terms of the regs.

@elton suggests 'heat pump tech should be quieter' but without any evidence this can or will be achieved, so this demand is potentially equivalent to a ban or severe restriction in the short term.  From the various reports published recently by mluhc and others there is scant evidence at most that there is actually a widespread problem with noise. Of course problems do occur from time to time, but we don't ban gas boilers because of deaths from CO poisoning or gas explosions, despite the fact that these are clearly much more serious consequences.

There is a degree of proportionality needed here, The widespread rapid deployment of ashp technology is necessary if we are to mitigate the worst effects of climate change (much worse than a little noise annoyance!).  There isn't actually an alternative available.  So whilst not advocating that ASHPs should be allowed to disturb sleep, and accepting that the worst offenders in terms of tonality should be confined to history, if you stick your head outside your window on a cold day and can hear the (largely white) noise of air passing over a fan (a feature of ashps that can't be designed out), thats a price we have to pay.  Relative to the devastation that climate change will bring it's a relatively small price not least because most sane people don't stick their head outside their windows for long on the days when ASHPs are at their noisiest!

Of course if someone can come up with the perfect way to heat our homes then that would be great, but until then we have to accept that perfection isn't available and choose the least bad option.

This post was modified 2 months ago by JamesPa

   
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Toodles
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@editor How much heat is lost on the run Mars, would you know please? I imagine that running long pipe runs like this require a great deal of top quality insulation to keep losses to the minimum. BTW, I didn’t doubt the quietness of your pump. Like ours, it is well behaved! Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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Mars
 Mars
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@toodles that's a really good question and I've spent the afternoon trying to work it out.

I started by considering the hypothetical Heat Loss Quotient (HLQ), an abstract construct derived from the amalgamation of Fourier's Law of Heat Conduction, the constants of Phlogiston's Dispersal Theory and the principles of Quantum Thermoelasticity. The HLQ is mathematically represented as:

HLQ=∫0∞Θ(δ)⋅Ψϵ+ρ⋅Λ23 dζ+F(α,β,γ)⋅(∑n=1∞ξnn!⋅ζn2)

where:

  • Θ(δ) symbolises the Transmogrification Factor of Heat, dependent on the ductile modulus of the insulation material (δ)
  • Ψ denotes the Pseudo-Fluidic Conductivity Coefficient, a fictional measure of the ethereal medium's resistance to phantasmal energy currents
  • ϵ and ρ represent the Etheric Void Constant and the Quantum Rugosity Parameter, respectively, both pertaining to the metaphysical attributes of the thermal exchange medium
  • Λ is the Luminiferous Aether Density, a concept resurrected for its oblique relevance to imaginary thermal dynamics
  • F(α,β,γ) is a multifactorial obfuscation function incorporating the Aleph Null Coefficient (α), the Babel Inversion Index (β), and the Cryptic Flux Modifier (γ)
  • ξ and ζ are the Enigmatic Scalar and the Dimensional Translocation Vector, respectively, both crucial to the nonsensical integration of disparate mathematical realms
  • n! denotes the factorial of n, an attempt to introduce a semblance of order into the otherwise chaotic equation

I think the answer is "3". Three what, you ask? Just three. 🤣 

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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
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On a serious note, I think we may be able to work that out when @heacol visit us – it's a great question I don't we're losing much heat, but it's worth investigating.

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU

Follow our sustainability journey at My Home Farm: https://myhomefarm.co.uk


   
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