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How would you rate the design, installation and efficiency of your heat pump system? Poll is created on Nov 06, 2022

  
  
  
  
  
  

[Sticky] Rate the quality of your heat pump design and installation

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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
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I'm currently engaged in several 'private conversations' with heat pump installers and association members that have taken exception to me stating that less than 20% of heat pump installations in the UK have been flawlessly designed and installed, bringing the competency of installers into question. I believe that most systems are slapped in without much thought for design, especially when retrofitting a heat pump to replace a boiler. This results in systems that don't adequately heat the house and are expensive to run. So I'd like to see how far off the mark I am. Please vote on the poll, and you're welcome to elaborate on your poll selection but leaving a reply below.

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(@squonk)
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"slapped in without much thought for design" describes my experience perfectly. I never saw any calculations, and I don't think any were done. I've ended up with an over-sized heat pump, undersized buffer, UFH throughout the house which struggles especially in the bedrooms unless you set the flow temp to foot-melting levels, cabling and pipework which looks like it was done in the dark, no link between the UFH controller and the ASHP, so the system runs all the time whether there is heat demand or not, no attempt to setup the system, everything left on defaults, and no documentation at all. Oh and the guy who did it has disappeared, leaving a string of equally unhappy customers, so even if I had the energy to sue him I couldn't.

Thanks to various YouTube videos and forums such as this one I have got the system running reasonably efficiently, but I'm still a long way from what I expected.


   
witchcraft, Derek M and Mars reacted
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Majordennisbloodnok
(@majordennisbloodnok)
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4527 kWhs
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I’d’ve voted flawless if it wasn’t for a couple of necessary return visits to sort out an intermittent tripping of the RCD. Given it was a retrofit and they were dealing with an electrical situation they had no chance of spotting in advance, I’d still rate this a success; I don’t judge companies by what went right as much as how they handled what went wrong, and our installer acted excellently.

105 m2 bungalow in South East England
Mitsubishi Ecodan 8.5 kW air source heat pump
18 x 360W solar panels
1 x 6 kW GroWatt battery and inverter
Raised beds for home-grown veg and chickens for eggs

"Semper in excretia; suus solum profundum variat"


   
David I, retrobod, Mars and 1 people reacted
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(@hibbsy)
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Its early days yet, I have yet to experience sub zero conditions, but these are my thoughts and experience to date.

Finding installers was frankly difficult. I approached 5 companies;

Octopus Energy; despite a promising start when it came to a detailed survey they dismissed my property due to it having microbore pipe work

Local renewable installer; Very detailed survey, price acceptable. However they required most of my rads to be upsized, had a very odd location for the outdoor unit, required two heating pumps and everything crammed into my existing airing cupboard.

Global Energy; cancelled my appointment. Paper quote and price was however acceptable.

Vaillant; Despite contacting several approved installers not one came back to me. Even contacting them directly resulted in no call backs.

Abacus energy solutions; The company I chose. Knowledgeable, experienced, an excellent system design. 
Outdoor unit at the back of the house by the sheds, tucked out of the way. Pipes run in a neat insulated ducting along the integral garage wall. All the equipment, tank, pumps and pipework in the back corner of the garage. An absolute master stroke. Compact, accessible, quiet in operation. All the previous loft tanks, hot water cylinder, shower & heating pumps all gone. So much quieter in the house with no tanks filling and gushing. And a bonus of extra storage in the now empty airing cupboard. 

The system works well so far. I’m having a battery fitted soon which will reduce running costs enabling me to maximise my off peak Ev tariff. Actual current running costs seem just slightly less than my previous gas heating. 


   
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(@allyfish)
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I don't think you're that far wide of the mark Mars in your estimate. 7/10 'could do better' would be my honest appraisal.

ASHP: tidily installed work on electrical and mechanical sides, well designed and well thought through install, decent heat load calcs done, by myself and by installer for MCS registration. Making good by the trades including boxing in pipework and fixing up walls opened up for cabling was excellent. The lads were very considerate and tidy working in a family home that was occupied throughout. What let things down was poor system control and rushed commissioning, leaving the whole system running flat out to deliver a constant 50deg CH water supply and primary and secondary flow rates too high. Weather compensation was not enabled. The Grant controller is quite clever but absolutely no handover, tuition or documentation on it given to the system owner. Had I not been in building services I would be wondering by now why my daily electricity consumption was astronomically high. A bit of head scratching with a less than informative installation manual, a few parameters corrected, some temperature logging and it all looks better now and chugs away quite happily.

Solar PV: internal electrical work very tidy. External solar PV panel install was rushed, despite having in the installer's words, 'the best scaffold access we've seen' (arranged by myself via a contact). A full day was required but they tried to cram it into half a day. Result: broken roof tiles, poorly cut to length support rails, utterly useless anti-bird mesh barely attached to the perimeter of the arrays. Installer called back out to rectify and make good, which cost them the better part of another half day to do it right, plus them paying through the nose to buy pan tiles that are no longer manufactured from a reclaim merchant on Ebay.


   
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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
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Topic starter  

@allyfish, did the same company do the ASHP and PV?

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU
From Zero to Heat Pump Hero: https://amzn.to/4bWkPFb

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


   
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(@allyfish)
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@editor Yes, both by Thrift Energy


   
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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
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Topic starter  

@allyfish, frankly, I’m disappointed by just 10 votes. I would have wanted the sample size to be a tad bigger. I’ll just have to be patient and keep this post alive.

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU
From Zero to Heat Pump Hero: https://amzn.to/4bWkPFb

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


   
Morgan reacted
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(@allyfish)
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@editor I think this is a poll to pin and let run over time Mars.


   
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cathodeRay
(@cathoderay)
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Mars - it needs to continue running over time! You will get trends as well as snapshots that way. At the same time, also important to remember the sampling in these polls is biased, only people with something to say, be it good or bad, are likely to respond. But it is better than nothing, so long as that caveat is borne in mind.

Midea 14kW (for now...) ASHP heating both building and DHW


   
Mars and Derek M reacted
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(@heacol)
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Posted by: @editor

I'm currently engaged in several 'private conversations' with heat pump installers and association members that have taken exception to me stating that less than 20% of heat pump installations in the UK have been flawlessly designed and installed, bringing the competency of installers into question. I believe that most systems are slapped in without much thought for design, especially when retrofitting a heat pump to replace a boiler. This results in systems that don't adequately heat the house and are expensive to run. So I'd like to see how far off the mark I am. Please vote on the poll, and you're welcome to elaborate on your poll selection but leaving a reply below.

Mars, I think you are very optimistic and have significantly overstated the number of well designed systems. From the amount of systems that we sort out, I would estimate it to be in the sub 10% level. This unfortunately is caused by the industries attitude of "sell a box at any cost and dam the end user and consequences"

 

Professional heat pump installer: Technical Director Ultimate Renewables Director at Heacol Ltd


   
David I and Mars reacted
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(@squeakysim)
Estimable Member Member
550 kWhs
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@hibbsy did you have to pay beforehand for both surveys you got done?


   
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