BetaTalk - The Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Heating Podcast

Measuring the Best Heat Pump System Designs

December 29, 2022 Nathan Gambling BetaTeach Season 7 Episode 1
BetaTalk - The Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Heating Podcast
Measuring the Best Heat Pump System Designs
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Measuring Heat pump system design with Brendon from Heacol
Link to slides for the test can be found here

Brendon discusses how he first designed the test rig with Ulster University  for testing the heat pump he had built which is specifically adapted for UK climate, the UK's building stock and how the homes in the UK are commonly heated e.g. a combi boiler.

When RHI was first introduced, it required heat pumps to have costly certification and sadly Brendon's heat pump had to be put on the back burner... after all, Brendon is extremely busy installing heat pumps for people and has been putting heat pumps in for many years.

(Note, if you are an investor in innovation you'd do well to contact Brendon to discuss this heat pump)

The test rig uses a 500L thermal store to simulate the internal of a property "it's got inertia, it's got thermal capacity and it's got buffer "

A plate heat exchanger connecting the thermal store to the heat pump simulates a radiator system which can have temps and flow rates changed.

Brendon describes how this set up is able to run different testing than the excellent Energy House at Salford University and benefit from quick responses to different heating stratagies and scenarios. 


  1. testing a heat pump system with 3rd party controls and buffer tank
  2. testing a heat pump system with weather compensation and buffer tank
  3. testing a heat pump system with weather compensation and no buffer tank e.g. open zone or what has been called direct in the test which can be found here

The test simulated a house with an 11.5kW heat load.

With the first test the heat pump had to run at 50 degree Celsius flow to maintain an internal temp of 21 degrees.

In the second test the flow temp dropped to 45d.

The final test, with open zone system, no buffer and controlled with manufactures wether compensation controls only required a flow temp coming from the heat pump of 35 degrees C

Support the show

Introducing Brendon from Heacol
Research at Ulster University on Heat Pump System
Looking at Heat Pump System Design
How the Test Rig Differs from the Salford University Energy House in Manchester
Testing System Design with the Test Rig
European Manufacturer's Instructions vs UK MI's vs
Do You Need a Buffer Tank
Explaining Different Buffer Types
Why You Need Volume in a Heat Pump System
Boiler Controls - On/Off Thermostats Should Have Been Banned
Limited Knowledge in People Influencing Direction
Explaining Open Zone Heating Systems
Older Buildings Designed with Thermal Mass
Brendon's Heat Pump Controller Design - plus time of use tariffs
Designing a Heat Pumps System vs Commissioning (which is an art)
Brendon's Self-Commissioning Controller
The Huge Difference Between a Bad Boiler System and a Bad Heat Pump System
Open Zone - History of the TRV
Manufacturers Chose System Separation (e.g. Buffer) to Prevent Low Flow Errors and Not Have to Bother Training Engineers
Local Authority's Challenge Procuring Competent Suppliers
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Testing Your Ground Source Heat Pump in Winter
Licensing for Open Loop and Policy
Such a Waste Coal Mine Water is Not Used More
The Test Results from Different Heat Pump Systems