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Understanding the field performance of domestic heat pumps: an analysis of recent residential heat pump field trials and training needs

Gleeson, CP; (2014) Understanding the field performance of domestic heat pumps: an analysis of recent residential heat pump field trials and training needs. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores heat pump performance. Renewable technology, based on ambient conditions, is at a distinct thermodynamic disadvantage when compared with such technologies as gas condensing boilers since the temperature gradients in which they work are so much smaller. This disadvantage makes renewable technologies, and specifically heat pumps, sensitive to design and installation practice. A mixed methods approach of quantitative and qualitative investigation is applied, principally through the analysis of heat pump field trial performance; a meta-analysis of eight European field trials of over 600 heat pump installations in terms of historical and contemporary system boundaries, and a taxonomical analysis of the UK Energy Saving Trust field trial. The trials are placed in context through the analysis of UK central heating practice, UK and EU policy, thermodynamics, manufacturers’ test regimes and a pilot field trial. From this analysis it is apparent that a wide range of performance is exhibited by residential heat pump installations. This potential to underperform, or ‘sensitivity to context’, is explored through its plausible link to vocational education and training (VET). The process of re-aligning EU VET for heat pumps is underway, driven in the UK by the Microgeneration Scheme’s design literature and training requirements. However, doubts remain as to the abilities of current UK contractors to synthesise the technical design requirements given the relatively low educational demands made on residential heating occupations when compared with EUCERT heat pump requirements, more closely aligned with the Continental concept of savoir-faire, ‘know-how’ or berufliche Handlungsfähigkeit, a multidimensional ‘occupational capacity’.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Understanding the field performance of domestic heat pumps: an analysis of recent residential heat pump field trials and training needs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Heat pumps, Seasonal performance factor (SPF), Vocational Education and Training (VET), System boundary
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1431425
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