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Opportunities for surface water source heat pumps in the UK
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Opportunities for surface water source heat pumps in the UK

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Session 19 Paper 2, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, 14-15 April 2016

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Surface Water Source Heat Pumps (SWSHPs) are an under used technology in the UK. Harnessing renewable thermal energy from the sea, rivers, canals and lakes represents a huge opportunity to provide low carbon heating/cooling to buildings.

SWSHPs have the potential to provide heat on a large scale, especially in densely populated urban areas near rivers and canals. However, there are currently very few large scale SWSHP systems in the UK.

If SWSHPs are to form a significant part of our future low carbon energy infrastructure they need to be designed, built, operated and maintained to a high quality to deliver customer satisfaction. This paper introduces a new Code of Practice (CP2) to achieve these aims by raising standards right across the supply chain and stimulating adoption of this technology.

Setting minimum (and best practice) requirements should provide greater confidence for specifiers and developers. The Code of Practice can also be included in the tendering/contracting process to specify minimum requirements for a project. The adoption of the Code of Practice by developers could ultimately be used to support marketing by providing greater assurance to customers and property purchasers that the SWSHP scheme has followed a set of design, installation and commissioning standards. This Code of Practice should therefore have a significant effect on the SWSHP market by boosting confidence in the technology. CIBSE/HPA/GSHPA have developed training to ensure the skills necessary to implement the Code of Practice are available across the sector.

This paper also sets out the wide range of approaches and applications that are possible with this innovative technology. The paper then explores early ideas about how to identify the most likely opportunities for this nascent technology and how the Code of Practice will help to encourage growth in the sector. The paper covers three main topics:

• An introduction to the Code of Practice

• Categorisation of SWSHPs approaches and applications

• A new methodology for identifying and mapping SWSHP opportunities