West Meadows Residence
Heat Source: Air to Water Heat Pump.
Other: Rotex, 5kw Solar PV
WELL-DESIGNED HOME HEATING IN WEST MEADOWS
This exceptionally designed permanent residence in West Meadows houses two clients who came to us with a very specific brief. They wanted an energy efficient, low-cost system, with a low environmental impact to heat their 325sq/m home. With their input, and working alongside architect, Chris Prebble, of Three Sixty Architecture, we refined and designed a high-end system which met this brief. We also did the plumbing and drainage for this home, completing our Total Package service.
“We are thrilled to now have everything operating so well, with power accounts a delight to receive in this highly specified energy efficient home of the future”.
HERE’S HOW WE DID IT:
The high-end central heating and hot water system that we designed incorporates a thermal store, air-to-water heat pump, solar and an electric element.
The thermal store collects the energy from various sources and disperses heated water to various other sources. The tank allows hot water to be stored at various temperatures within the single container, allowing the use of various heating and hot water requirements to be met with maximum efficiency e.g. the bottom of the tank is 30-40°c (used for underfloor heating with the lower temperatures, pools and spa pools), middle/top of the tank 40-60°c (used for domestic hot water and any other high temperature appliances).
The energy sources for the thermal store are solar, an electric element, and an air-to-water heat pump. The system has been set up to maximise the use of the solar first, then use the air-to-water heat pump to make up the temperature difference.
The solar system also provides for all of the energy requirements of the home, generation and consumption are measured, and any excess power is directed to the thermal store. If there is any further excess after the home and hot water has been taken care of, only then is the generated power exported to the grid.
The electric heating element draws energy from the solar, or from the grid, to heat the hot water for the top and middle of the tank with a lesser amount at the bottom of the tank.
The ring main has a Grundfos comfort pump installed on the hot water line. The ring main pump has a memory which picks up the daily usage and activates the pump prior to the normal usage time and turn off when the water is no longer required. This is to minimise heat loss from the heat source (thermal store) and save energy for hot water recovery and pump running time.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO RUN?
The client only leaves the underfloor heating on in the areas they are living in, set to 21°c. As this is a reasonably new home, exact running costs haven’t been determined yet but we will have some specific data next year. The client is going to put insulated boxes around the exterior pipes (these are already lagged but losing some heat) which should increase efficiencies.
To keep the system running at its best, it is important to maintain it well. The maintenance of this system simply requires an annual service by a certified technician and occasional client maintenance.
• Technician maintenance – all central heating systems should be serviced annually to maintain efficiency. An average air-to-water heat pump service costs $200 + GST.
• Client maintenance – the pressure in the system needs to be kept topped up for the system to operate. Occasionally, this may drop and need to be topped up. This is a 10-minute task, and we provide our clients with a manual specific to their system with instructions on how to do this.
INTERESTED IN LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT HEATING?
If you’re interested in any of the systems described in this case study, reach out and we can discuss options to help you heat your own home!