Potterton Commercial adapts technology to provide ultra-efficient heating for commercial buildings

Potterton Commercial has launched a new form of heat pump that could significantly reduce carbon emissions. The A-cubed is aimed at commercial buildings, particularly as a retrofit solution and, unlike other forms of heat pumps, is powered by gas rather than electricity.

The technology has traditionally been used for cooling applications – commonly used in gas-fired fridges for boats and caravans – however it has now been developed to provide heating. After field trials in Europe Potterton Commercial has introduced the system to the UK.

With a maximum out put of 41kW, the unit is claimed to have a net efficiency of 160% when the outdoor temperature is at 7C and it is delivering water at 35C - in other words for every 1kW of gas burnt it produces 1.6kW of heat energy which is around 50% more than a traditional gas boiler.

The unit could be particularly attractive given the proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations that make it more difficult to hit the carbon reduction target when electricity consuming plant is used. The proposed changes mean fuel emission factor of electricity - the amount of CO2 produced for every kWh of electricity - would increase 40% .

The unit is most efficient when it supplies hot water at lower temperatures which can be used for underfloor heating or as a preheat to a instantaneous hot water system, however it can provide water at up to 50C.