With 20 years’ experience in the plumbing and heating industry, I embraced the opportunity to expand my knowledge and qualifications and learn all about air source heat pumps (ASHP).
The concepts and science behind the working of the pump are closer to refrigeration and air conditioning than gas, but as the heat is collected and used, my experience as a heating engineer took over and my industry knowledge really helped me grasp the new concepts. There are a range of controls, so the need for fault diagnosis is also required.
Prerequisites are required for ASHP including unvented hot water systems, Part L energy efficiency and Water Regulations, which are short courses to help broaden the knowledge in preparation for the ASHP training.
There are new concepts and calculations to consider, such as degree days, heat emitters and R and U value calculations, which can be a little overwhelming, but lucky for us, we have the technology and applications to make these easier.
With good training and support, the different competencies do come together to make logical sense with clear consistent outcomes. With the help of the MCS webinars, the calculations can be easily worked through to confirm correct outputs, heating, and more importantly, happy customers.
There have been conversations in the utility industry about heat pumps just not working or customers being left with non-working or intermittent technology that needs to be replaced. After completing my training and now understanding the concepts involved, I would be confident these scenarios can be explained by poor planning and installation rather than simply pointing fingers at the ASHP technology.
I believe ASHPs have a strong part to play in the green revolution and if the installers are trained to a high standard and understand the benefits and limitations, then this is a technology that will be embraced.