Hybrid heating can bridge the gap between gas boilers and heat pumps
The heating industry is changing rapidly, going from gas boilers to heat pumps. But with many buildings not suited or ready for heat pumps, hybrid solutions have the potential to plug the gap.
Heat pumps are the new standard in heating, offering a more sustainable and energy efficient alternative to traditional gas boiler technology. But while heat pumps play a crucial part in reducing CO2 emissions, they are not always optimal.
In new buildings and buildings that need a retrofit, heat pumps are a good choice – provided that the insulation is good, radiators are newer, and piping can be fitted to heat pumps. In older buildings with poor insulation and old radiators and piping, heat pumps will not be as effective. Here, a complete retrofit is required to make heat pumps work. Insulation needs to be changed and it can often be a good idea to, for example, implement floor heating.
Hybrid provides the perfect transition
Sometimes there simply isn’t enough space for heat pumps as they require a domestic hot water tank. In other cases, a lack of knowledge or budgetary concerns keeps people from opting for a heat pump. But what do you do when you still want to conserve energy and reduce emissions? The answer is hybrid.
A hybrid system has the potential to fill in the gaps that arise between heat pumps and gas boilers. It works much like a plug-in hybrid car, combining a gas boiler and a heat pump, but is smaller since a domestic hot water tank is not required. During normal demand, the heat pump provides the necessary heating and the gas boiler takes over once demand goes up. This is also useful in buildings that cannot extract the required amount of energy from the electrical grid as hybrid provides a level of flexibility that is more valuable than ever in today’s unpredictable energy landscape.
Peace of mind with a system that limits risk
In many cases, is not as simple as just switching from gas boilers to heat pumps. Providers may feel they lack the knowledge to step into new territory and customers may be hesistant to leave the comfort of the traditional gas network or simply unable to afford the upgrade. Switching to a hybrid system is a cheaper alternative that can provide both installers and customers with peace of mind. With the gas boiler as backup, users can gain an understanding of heat pumps, confident that the gas boiler takes over in case of a failure.
Hybrid needs to be smart
Hybrid heating has the potential to be the next big thing within heating. It is already a popular choice in many parts of southern Europe with the highest growth rate of any heating appliance – but to make a hybrid system truly valuable, it needs to be intelligent, able to determine when to operate the heat pump and when to switch to the gas boiler. At Grundfos, we are continuously working on new technologies and solutions that bring intelligence to pumps. And integrating hydrolics for both boilers and heat pumps lies at the core of our competencies. Evaluating the design of the current hybrid systems, we see a great potential for cost optimisation and integration. That way, we can accelerate the journey towards more sustainable heating.
Would you like to learn more? For more information about hybrid solutions contact your Key Account Manager today or deep dive into our solutions for heat pumps here.