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FS43 - Achieving Higher Heat Pump COP through the use of roof-top thermal solar collectors

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Achieving Higher Heat Pump COP through the use of roof-top thermal solar collectors" by Edinburgh Napier University and European Energy Centre


The feasibility study is directed to explore the increase in COP of a heat pump by using a roof-top thermal solar collector. As part of this work the threshold coefficient of performance required to make the financial and environmental break-even point, compared to a conventional heating system shall be found for two scenarios, i.e. (a) space heating only, and (b) space heating combined with hot water heating.

The study will have an emphasis on the following three variables:  energy use, emissions and financial costs. Brief comparison between a conventional boiler and heat pump:

- Typical air-source heat pump COP is around 1.5 to 2
- Gas boiler efficiency over its life-time is around 80-85%
- Running cost (ratio of electricity-to-gas = 3.6):
   gas = 3.21 p/kWh
   electricity= 11.53 p/kWh
- Capital cost (ratio of heat pump-to-boiler = 3.5):
   Boiler = £6000
- Life span (ratio of 2):
   Boiler: 20 years
   heat pump: 10 years

The information shows that investing in a heat pump on its own does not make financial sense unless a much higher COP, of say greater than 5 is achieved. In this proposed feasibility study the use of roof-top thermal solar collectors as a mean of achieving higher COP shall be investigated.

The feasibility study will be based on commercially available products from manufacturers such as Daikin, Mitsubishi, AES solar, Veissmann and Worcester.

The outcome of this study will lead to a rigorously researched and unbiased set of results that will compare the relative performance of the two types of heating systems, i.e. gas boiler and electrically-operated heat pump that is assisted by solar water heating.

Key words: renewable energy, air-source heat pump, hot water solar paneProf. Tariq Muneer, Edinburgh Napier University


Dr Aymeric Girad, Crichton Carbon Centre

For European Energy Centre

The outputs of this study will be disseminated in due course.


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