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Air Source Heat Pump Provides Payback in 18 Months

Finding the right technology for energy-efficient heating and hot water projects requiring quick and cost effective installation can be difficult; the recent project at Carluccio’s, Meadohall, Sheffield showcases how this challenge can be tackled.

When international restaurant chain Carluccio’s wanted to reduce their energy bills as well as their carbon footprint, it was an air to water heat pump system that provided them with the perfect sustainable solution.Existing electrically heated systems that were installed in their other branches were proving to be inefficient, resulting in extremely high running costs. Carluccio’s wanted to reduce their energy bills as well as their carbon footprint; they wanted a system that was easy to use and was energy efficient and cost effective to run.Installers FWP Air Conditioning were asked to install a system which would provide the desired volume of hot water, at the correct temperature while at the same time, lowering costs. Following a consultation with Carluccio’s, it was decided that their new site in the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield would be the ideal location as it had the correct attributes for the installation of a Panasonic air to water heat pump system.

FWP installed a 12kW Aquarea T-CAP mono bloc unit which would allow for the free air from the kitchen roof space to be transferred through the condensing unit providing hot water at the optimum temperature. With a high co-efficiency of performance (COP) it provides approximately 4kW of energy, for every kW of electricity the system uses.


Energy Monitoring

Meters were installed on the units to monitor energy use of the heat pump and immersion heaters since it was installed; a water meter was also installed to the incoming mains water to calculate water usage. Electrical meters were also fitted to the incoming electrical supply of the electrically heated system at their similar sized restaurant in Leeds to compare costs.

Readings were taken during the first few weeks 2013 at a point when the outdoor temperature was particularly cold. This would have meant the heat pump would be least efficient so the results obtained were at its worst-case scenario.

When Carluccio’s compared the Sheffield site to their Leeds restaurant, the energy savings were considerable. To heat the water for their Leeds restaurant cost £3782 per year, whilst at the Meadowhall site the comparable cost was just £951. These sizable savings mean the site will see a return on investment in about 2 years and has achieved a COP of about 3.91.

Further energy monitoring data was collected later on in the year, over a 120-day operating period. Like for like and site for site comparisons showed that if you take into account the Climate Change Levy (CCL) of 0.0524p/kwhr that all businesses pay for their electricity, then the savings achieved on Meadowhall vs. Leeds will be £4,221.09 per year.

However, Meadowhall is using 220,000 litres over a 120-day period and Leeds is using 182,036 litres, just over 20% more water. Meadowhall as it stands will save Carluccio’s 71.5% of their running cost at Leeds or £4,221 a year, achieving payback in approximately 18 months.

If Meadowhall had the same water usage as Leeds, the system would save Carluccio’s £4,510 a year or 76.5% of their running costs, as it would use 23.5% of the energy that Leeds will.

The results of the trial showed Carluccio’s that they could achieve significant savings on their energy costs as well as reducing their carbon footprint. They have confirmed an additional 8-10 install’s at new restaurant developments commencing this year and potentially retro fit ASHPs to the other existing 50 restaurants in the chain.

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