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UK:  DECC yesterday launched a new calculator tool for householders to estimate their likely RHI payments.

The new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) calculator is available in England, Scotland and Wales, and will show users instantly how much money they can expect to earn through the subsidy scheme, which launched earlier this year for the domestic market.

"Renewable technology is helping thousands of people keep their homes warm and reduce their energy bills at the same time, not to mention reducing their carbon footprint," said Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change, Amber Rudd MP in a statement.

"The Domestic RHI helps households offset the cost of installing renewable heating systems. From today, by entering just a few simple details into this calculator, people can now instantly see how much they could be paid through the scheme."

The calculator has been welcomed by the renewable heat industry as it will help installers convince potential customers of the financial benefits of installing biomass boilers, heat pumps, or solar thermal systems.

DECC RHI CALCULATOR

To learn more about the Domestic and Non Domestic RHI, click the links below. 

 

Fridgehub is a major new industry resource, information and directory service for consumers of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump equipment, products and services.

Stay in touch with the latest industry developments - Register here

To find out more visit – Fridgehub for Consumers or Fridgehub for Industry

The software has been updated to the latest Apple system IOS 7 and for Android tablets, the programming has been optimised to achieve a better presentation and simpler handling of the functions. 

Various languages

As well as German and English, now French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi and Indonesian languages are also available on the app.

Unique material recommendations

After numerous tests and laboratory analyses, Güntner have published recommendations for material combinations for components depending on the planned application. This unique information overview, much sought-after for years, is now an implemented app function. It lets you check the ambient conditions for a suitable unit design at any time.

Refrigerant slide

The app function "Slide" displays the pressure-temperature correlation for more than a dozen of the most commonly used refrigerants. These include refrigerants that are relevant today such as 245fa. Users enter a specific temperature as required and the refrigerant slide shows the corresponding gauge pressure in bar.

The refrigerant-specific ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) and GWP (Global Warming Potential) values are also shown.

"Converter" for easy conversion

A total of 18 refrigerating variables such as pressure, temperature, volume and mass flow density, can be converted into every unit globally used and then displayed. As a result, users will always find a common basis for measurements – regardless of where in the world a construction site happens to be.

"Service Documents" – a complete collection of documents

The "Service Documents" function provides you with documents for all the Güntner lines of business and units. Documents are first sorted regionally. This is done automatically depending on the basic mobile phone or location settings. Users can then select the required documents according to the sorted languages and units. From info brochures to operating instructions, information is just a click away. This is particularly useful for service technicians and others who might want to take a glance at the unit’s operating instructions on site.

Contact information immediately available

The "Contacts" function offers an overview of all the Güntner field representatives. All stated contact data are active, meaning users can plan their route from their current location on the basis of the address, they can call/e-mail a contact directly, share information with others or add the details to their own list of contacts.

The contact information also includes details for the Service and Spare Parts departments. As a result, you will always reach the right contact person.

Communication in both directions

A feedback function allows you to directly contact the app contact person at Güntner in case you have questions or suggestions in terms of other or improved functions.

You can download the Gunter App for your device here. 

Developed an App for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning engineers? Contact us and send us the details and we'll get it added to our App Store

 

Fridgehub is a major new industry resource, information and directory service for consumers of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump equipment, products and services.

Stay in touch with the latest industry developments - Register here

To find out more visit – Fridgehub for Consumers or Fridgehub for Industry

UK:  With such a large focus on high GWP refrigerants the big brand Air Conditioning manufacturers have all moved forward with the use of HFC-32, a viable lower GWP refrigerant replacement for R410A.

The technology has been available for just over 2 years now and companies such as Daikin, Panasonic, Fujitsu General, Hitachi and Toshiba are all now using HFC-32.

With more manufacturers releasing R32 systems and the inevitability of larger R32 systems hitting the market in the future, it is imperative that technicians are fully trained on the new tools and equipment needed to service this market as well as understanding the safety of what is still considered a flammable refrigerant.

Many service technicians may not be aware that specialist tools are needed to service R32 systems. R32 is mildly flammable and has higher operating pressures and not using R32 compliant equipment can compromise safety which could result in injury. 

While some technicians may not have yet started working on R32 air conditioning systems, it is highly likely they will in the future, so when buying new equipment, they should make sure it is R32 compliant as this will ensure safe work practice and save equipment upgrade costs in the future.

View or download our R32 Fact Sheet here

 

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Got an Air Conditioning System? Did you know that by Law your unit must be inspected by a trained energy assessor?

In 2003 the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was brought into effect by the European Parliament to make countries in the EU to pass laws on energy consumption. 

Under Section 43 (1) D of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) 2003, you could be fined £300 per system, per day, if you are found to have non-compliant air conditioning systems.

All air conditioning systems in place on or after January 1st 2008 should have been inspected within five years of installation.

Older systems with an output over 250kW should have been inspected by January 2009, while others, above 12kW, were required to have been inspected by January 2011.

Air conditioning inspections are very important for your business in order to meet with legislation and help in reducing your carbon foot print.

With global warming very much the topic of the moment, businesses are encouraged to get these inspections completed immediately to avoid the potential for a fine.

Low energy and sustainability services provider, Inteb's compliance manager, Amy Field said: “We recognise that many businesses have no idea that they are supposed to have TM44 certification for their air conditioning system, but ignorance is no defence.

“We would urge businesses to get in touch and request an inspection, so that they can be compliant before any inspection by Trading Standards Officers. The alternative could be a very heavy fine, as TSOs respond to the threats placed upon them, by launching into a phase of active enforcement of the law.”

If you are complaint you would have been issued with a TM44 certificate

To find a business near you to carry out your inspection Click here.

If you’re considering installing a ground or air-source heat pump in your home, here's a few handy pointers for you to think about beforehand.

Firstly take into account the additional works - You will need to either drill a vertical well or prepare a horizontal trench in which to lay a ‘slinky’ or a straight tube.

Is it feasible and safe to drill on your property? This is dependent on the geology of the ground under and around your property.

Check the pump and the heat exchanger are the correct size. You will need to account for the size of your property and its location, your property's current energy efficiency and air tightness and if you are also plannig to heat your hot water.

Heat pumps work best with under floor heating so you need add this into your overall costs; if you use radiators, they need to be large ones as the heat produced will be ‘low-grade’.

Remember if the air temperature outside is freezing or below it will be difficult for an air-source heat exchanger to create heat.

You must obtain an accurate estimate of your likely annual electricity usage after the heat pump has been installed - all heat pumps require an auxiliary heat source, usually electricity, and the bills can be very high.  

Here's some additional advice from Ofgem

Watch your electricity bill with a heat pump - Heat pumps use electricity to operate so when you switch on you can expect your electricity bill to increase. If you pay by direct debit you should speak to your energy supplier about recalculating your payments when you've had one installed.

Do be aware that a small fault in the installation of a heat pump can result in a very large increase in the electricity bill. If you’re planning to install a heat pump ask your installer for an estimate of how much more electricity it should use. Make a note to watch the electricity meter reading carefully as soon as it’s installed. If you think it’s going up too fast, contact your installer immediately.

This is particularly important if you pay your energy bills by direct debit. Don’t wait for the annual meter reading and bill to find out there’s a problem.

Another way to keep a check on its performance is to get the Government's metering and monitoring package. This is only open to people who are getting the domestic RHI and can be applied for when you apply or as a separate later application. You will get an additional £230 a year for the seven year life of the RHI to cover the cost of the metering and monitoring.

Finally always ensure that the company you are dealing with is a member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code. You can check that here

Source: The Renewable Energy Consumer Code http://www.recc.org.uk/consumers

GWP values of various refrigerants are important for a number of reasons, not least as a means of comparing their relative effect when they are released to atmosphere. 

As science progresses and reviews take place the GWP values of some refrigerants have altered slightly, which has led to a number of different values being quoted. For instance the F-Gas Regulation (EC) 842/2006 referred to the 3rd IPCC assessment. The new F-Gas Regulation (EC) 517/2014 which will come into effect on 1st January 2015 will use the 4th IPCC assessment values. 

New F-Gas Regulation 

One of the requirements of the new regulation relates to leak check requirements which are based upon the GWP CO2 equivalent Tonnes. This means that the threshold level for leak checking different refrigerants varies dependent upon the GWP of the refrigerant that is used. The new regulation uses the 4th assessment values which are listed in annex 1 for the single component F-Gases. Annex 2 covers other fluorinated greenhouse gases. Whilst annex 4 states the method for calculating the total GWP of a mixture or blend. It also lists the GWP value to be used for non-fluorinated substances that are used in mixtures or blends. 

The GWP values of relevance from Annex 1 are given in Table 1 below; 

Table 1 


 

 

 

 

 

 

The GWP of relevant refrigerant mixtures and blends are shown in table 2. 

Leak Checking Requirements 

The new F-Gas regulation sets leak checking requirements based upon 5, 50 and 500 CO2 Equivalent Tonnes. With the most significant changes affecting high GWP refrigerants for the 500 CO2 Equivalent Tonnes as fixed leak detection is required for this threshold. The different requirements are shown in table 2 for current refrigerants. The new requirements will take effect from 1st January 2015, except for systems with a charge below 3kg (6kg for hermetic systems) where it will apply from 1st January 2017.

Table 2

References 

F-Gas Regulation (EC) 517/2014 - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.150.01.0195.01.ENG 

4th IPCC assessment values - http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-10-2.html 

About ACRIB

ACRIB is an umbrella organisation for the UK RACHP industry comprising trade associations and professional institutes: AMDEA, ARC, B&ES, BFFF, CIBSE, CRT, FETA, FSDF, IOR. It provides the ACRIB Skillcard scheme for the recognition of individual operative qualifications in working with the full range of refrigerants. For more information see www.acrib.org.uk 

 

UK: Cool Designs Ltd has launched an online video training programme to help update the skills of air conditioning installers and service engineers.

There are over 20 training videos available, covering topics on installation, commissioning, trouble-shooting and servicing of both indoor and outdoor units, in various models across the Toshiba range.

Darrel Birkett, managing director of CDL, says: “Air conditioning is obviously very much a hands-on subject, particularly from the engineer’s point of view. Video training provides an excellent way of conveying knowledge and showing people how to do things properly.

“We have invested in making the films professional, clear and impactful, so that people can benefit and remember information. The great thing about online training is that it is available 24/7, and can be accessed by engineers with a smart phone working on site, exactly when they need it.”

More videos are in the process of being put together and will be available to view over the next few months.

Upcoming topics include:

  • How to set up and configure Toshiba heat exchangers;
  • Commissioning, servicing and fault finding for VRF systems (up to 10 titles initially);
  • A focus on key air conditioning accessories and how to install and set them up.

You can view CDLs youtube channel and training videos by clicking here

About CDL: Cool Designs Ltd (CDL) has built up its reputation since it started trading in 2003 supporting Toshiba Air Conditioning products and offering other professional support and advice in all stages of a project. CDL are also a distributor for Carrier & Hitecsa chilled water products, Panasonic, Fujitsu and a selected range of accessories from Sauermann, Aspen, BBJ and Little Giant Pump House.

UK: A new national apprenticeship scheme has been launched by Mitsubishi’s in conjunction with 24 of their air conditioning partners, Building Engineering Services Training and the National Apprenticeship Service to train the air conditioning engineers of the future.

Steve Hayward, Mitsubishi Electric’s technical services and after sales manager, said: “As this is the first year of our new national apprenticeship programme, we will be recruiting around 35 apprentices and with our partners, this will cover almost the whole of the UK, from Glasgow to Southampton.”

Mitsubishi also has plans to recruit more partners thereby increasing numbers and ensuring the programme continues to bring new talent into the industry.

Skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock, said: “We want it to be the new norm for young people to choose to either go to university or begin an apprenticeship. So it’s great that Mitsubishi Electric has announced these new apprenticeship vacancies. I would encourage other employers to follow Mitsubishi Electric’s lead and use apprenticeships as an opportunity to grow their own talent and improve the skills base of their workforce.

“Apprenticeships increase business productivity and increase skills levels, so with a talent pool of over a million potential employees, it is the ideal time for companies to take advantage of the opportunities for business growth provided by employing apprentices.”

There are currently 27 vacancies nationally relating to Mitsubishi and a total of 734 apprenticeships relating to Air Conditioning nationally.

Anyone interested in participating in Mitsubishi’s apprenticeship programme should visit the vacancies section at http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/ and search using the keyword “Mitsubishi” and their location to find opportunities in their area.

The UK heat pump market is currently relatively small in comparison to the dominance of gas boilers, and with this situation not being compatible with the Government’s carbon reduction targets.

The Heat Strategy has identified heat pumps as a key technology to drive the decarbonisation of the heat sector in combination with the decarbonisation of the electricity grid.

Driven by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the deployment of heat pumps is projected to grow significantly.

Refrigerants are a fundamental element of a heat pump installation as they are the working fluid which carries the energy from the heat source to the heat emitters.

The most common fluids used in heat pumps are Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) which typically have a global warming potential over 1000 times that of CO2.

If the large scale deployment of heat pumps comes to fruition, the energy performance and displacement of existing fossil fuel heating technologies will have a significant impact on the ability of heat pumps to contribute to carbon reduction targets.

As a result, the GHG emissions associated with refrigerant use will be increasingly important as deployment of heat pumps grows. At this time there is still little quantitative analysis available on leakage rates of refrigerants over the lifetime of a heat pump, yet the potential carbon benefits of heat pumps are likely to be very sensitive to leakage rates.

The study, carried out by Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd and the Centre for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Research (London Southbank University) was aiming to provide a more evidence-based assessment of likely leakage rates for various heat pump installations over time.

Driven primarily by the EU F-Gas Regulations, along with industry trends, it was also important to try to estimate the likely trends in refrigerant use, particularly with regard to Global Warming Potential (GWP).

At the same time, it is critical to present these impacts in the context of the benefits derived from heat pumps. The study therefore aims to model deployment of heat pumps and leakage of refrigerant according to a range of scenarios to present overall carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) net benefits or costs to both 2020 and 2050.

 

This report addresses the net benefit of heat pumps in the UK, taking into account the environmental costs associated with refrigerant leakage. The primary research and modelling indicated that whilst leakage led to significant CO2e emissions, this was nonetheless a small proportion of the total reduced emissions associated with heat pump technologies. It also highlights that there is scope to reduce leakage further, thereby increasing the net benefit associated with heat pumps.

The approach undertaken for this study includes a mix of primary research and practical testing exercises designed to provide the most accurate picture of refrigerant leakage and net CO2e benefits over time.

Key findings from the study can be found here.