The low-cost cooling solution unique to GSHP

After the Environmental Audit Committee labelled the government’s responses on adapting to heatwaves a “missed opportunity”, Kensa Heat Pumps Technical Director, Dan Roberts, has urged for more to be made of how heat pumps can provide cooling for buildings.

It’s no secret that the world is getting warmer, and in the UK, our homes are not prepared to deal with heat waves. The Environmental Audit Committee has even cited in its Heat Resilience and Sustainable Cooling report that heat-related deaths could rise to 10,000 every year without concerted actions to adapt to the warming climate – this should raise alarm bells for everyone!

When it comes to the home, if we start discussing the possibility of a mass retrofit program to make properties capable of coping with excessive heat, we should be making more of the cooling role that heat pumps can play.

Heat pumps are pivotal to heat decarbonisation, but very few are aware of their cooling capabilities. Along with being a highly efficient heating source ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) can also provide environmentally friendly, extremely low-cost cooling and overheating protection.

Kensa’s ground source heat pumps can be set up to deliver passive cooling’, where the system uses the low ground temperature to provide cooling for a building. Within this system, it’s not necessary to power a compressor and it only takes a small circulation pump and fan to distribute the cool air to the property effectively, preventing overheating for a fraction of the cost of what’s required to run traditional air conditioning.

As with all our ground source heat pumps, the newly released Shoebox NX has an inbuilt control system that can facilitate passive cooling out of the box. This low-cost cooling solution is unique to ground source heat pumps and has the added benefit of storing the excess heat in the ground instead of releasing it into the air. This means at the end of summer, when we start using the heat pump for heating, its efficiency increases.

If we’re looking to install low-cost, low-carbon heating systems so people can afford to heat their homes in winter whilst ensuring the best outcomes for the environment, then surely it’s a win-win if that same product can deliver effective cooling at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions.

We gave oral evidence to the Environmental Audit Select Committee last summer on this subject, and if more was made of how heat pumps can be part of the cooling solution as well as heating, then it might help more people see the benefits of what a heat pump can provide.

Kensa Heat Pumps will be at InstallerSHOW – running 25-27 June at the NEC.