29 Nov 2011 01:11:17
Ecodan range expansion simplifies renewable heating install and use
Mitsubishi Electric has extended the award-winning Ecodan® range of domestic air source heat pumps with a British-built water cylinder which will help cut installation time by 70 per cent, and a self-learning new controller which speeds up commissioning and eases operation.
“We have developed packaged systems that will make installation and commissioning even easier for heating engineers,” explains Max Halliwell, technical manager for the company’s domestic heating department. “We are also launching a simplified controller that makes using and operating the system easier for the homeowner.”
The company is now manufacturing a stainless steel, 200 litre capacity tank at its Livingston facility, where the 8.5kW Ecodan unit is also made. The cylinder has been designed with quality and aesthetics in mind, with the factory able to step up production when required to meet the expected increased demand once the final details of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are revealed by the Coalition Government.
“Regardless of RHI, interest in renewable heating is continuing to grow as people look for ways of reducing fuel bills and carbon emissions and we have designed our new products to make installation, commissioning and control straightforward,” adds Halliwell. “By producing our own packaged solution, we are able to deliver the consistent quality that everyone expects from the Mitsubishi brand.”
The ISO 14001/9001 certified cylinder is pre-wired and pre-plumbed, WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) Approved, and includes a 28.1kW heat exchanger capacity, expansion vessel, filter, booster and immersion heaters and an automatic flow switch.
Designed with the installer in mind, the intention is to provide the market with a product that allows for faster, neater installations. This and the improved appearance of the tank, the easy connections at the top and the three-year manufacturer’s warranty will help maximise reliability and long term savings in running costs.
Mitsubishi Electric is still marketing component systems but believes that packaged systems are more cost-effective in terms of initial costs and install time.
“With higher quality components and a lot of the function and reliability testing completed in the factory, heating engineers will be able to provide their customers with quicker, neater installations and less onsite problems,” explains Halliwell. “In addition to reducing the purchase costs and cutting down on install costs, the three-year warranty is unique for cylinders giving more reassurance to both installer and homeowner.”
In addition to the new cylinder, Mitsubishi Electric has launched a new control system which will be incorporated in all new products.
The FTC-3 (Flow Temperature Control) unit is an easy to use, high-end graphical controller with self-learning room temperature control and different access levels for homeowner, installer and maintenance checks.
“With our third generation of controller, we have taken the installation, commissioning and use of renewable heating to another level,” adds Halliwell. “Not only does this simplify the installation and speed up the commissioning for the engineer, it makes any maintenance easier and gives the homeowner tremendous control over their heating and hot water system.”
The system offers an integral 7-day schedule with in-built room temperature measurement and control, a holiday mode, and an intelligent weather compensation system, which ensures the central heating delivers a comfortable temperature regardless of the season.
Settings can be altered to suit the property and level of user interaction to give a control system that suits all applications and types of home.
“When we first launched Ecodan we knew it had tremendous potential in the UK, but we also realised that heat pumps are never going to become the mass-market alternative to fossil-based systems, unless they are completely acceptable to both the army of heating installers and the end users who have to live with them,” explains Halliwell.
“We have therefore developed this new packaged solution and third generation of controls precisely to deliver that level of trust and controllability,” he adds.
Ecodan has established itself as a market leader in renewable home heating and is ideal for both new build and retro-fit properties. The system will provide renewable, reliable heating and hot water all year round, whilst helping houses meet Levels 3 and 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Mitsubishi Electric has also launched a new split or packaged Hydrobox solution for situations where more flexibility is required. The new Hydrobox is compatible with a wide range of outdoor units and comes pre-wired and pre-plumbed to expand the heating opportunities to situations with an air conditioning requirement.
“This range extension takes the reliability and performance of the Ecodan range and delivers heat pump water heating it to a whole host of situations beyond the residential sector,” ends Halliwell.