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A novel modular solar air source heat pump system (SOLARIS)
Start date: 01 Mar 2009, End date: 28 Feb 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"There are 195 million households in Europe whose combined domestic heating needs account for 26% of Europe’s energy demand and 500 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. Reducing this will be important if Europe is to achieve ambitious emission reduction targets, reduce its excessive reliance on imported energy and the decrease costs to households and industry. The most effective way to decentralise energy production is to increase the amount of generation at source, in this case within the home. A common barrier to the adoption of most energy saving technologies is the high initial investment cost which results in long payback periods considering current energy prices. However, with prices on the rise, existing technologies such as solar thermal heating systems and heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Although both are reasonably efficient, existing solar thermal heating systems generally only provide up to 60% of a typical household’s annual hot water demand. Air source heat pumps are more effective and can provide up to 100% of total household heating requirements but their performance decreases significantly in winter and they suffer from frost-build up. As these technologies are becoming commodity products, SME’s in these markets are coming under increasing pressure from cheap and often unreliable imports from Asia. It is therefore paramount that European SME’s keep a technological edge over these competitors. We therefore propose to develop a novel solar air source heat pump system which is 25% more efficient than a typical air source heat pump and 7% more efficient than a combination of a standard ASHP and a solar thermal system while only costing 60% of the combined price of these separate systems. The SOLARIS system will result in significant savings to the energy consumer, reduced CO2 emissions and a significant financial return to the SOLARIS supply chain."
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