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Air Source Heat Pump Trials

We worked with customers with air source heat pumps (ASHPs) to better understand the load they generate in real-life scenarios. We installed over 380 new heat pumps in customers homes with funding support from DECC, a small number of which were ‘smart’ heat pumps fitted with innovative thermal store technology which allowed us to trial a direct control proposition.

What we wanted to find out

The electricification of transport and heating is central to UK government targets to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. However, questions exist about the capability of the grid to support the uptake of electricity intensive low carbon technologies (LCTs) like heat pumps and EVs on any significant scale. Through our CLNR study we have generated important new data and insights that will help the industry to support the widespread adoption of heat pumps, particularly in areas where they are installed in large numbers or clusters, social housing initiatives for example.

Key Facts and Figures

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What we learned

Through our trials we learned that low carbon technologies are less disruptive and that customers are more willing to flex their electricity usage than was previously assumed. We found little evidence to suggest that our customers LCT installations were causing any major power quality issues. Specifically, through our domestic heat pump trials we have been able to conclude that;

  • For customers with heat pumps rather than the full 3kW rating used by the industry Transform™ model, we propose an uplift of only 1kW per customer to allow for diversification
  • Although our ‘smart’ heat pump direct control trials were successful, with individual customers reducing load by up to 2.5kW, we identifed real barriers to deployment during this trial, most significantly in the retrofitting of the thermal heat pumps.

For a summary of findings from our trials with domestic and SME customers, please visit our conclusions page. Some of the key learning documents from our trials with heat pump users are listed below; further analysis and project outputs can be accessed using the advanced search function on our project library. For information on how to obtain the original data collected during this trial for further research and analysis please visit the project data page.

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