View Full Version : The Good The Bad and The Ugly

01-09-2015, 12:01 PM
In the UK we are about to undergo massive changes in the heating market place which will effectively ban gas boilers in new buildings, and will drive a massive uptake of A2W heat pumps - the government wants to see 600,000 installed over the next 5 years. yeah! (so far only 20,000 have been installed under the RHI scheme over 5 years)

So, to date we have focussed on insatalling Panasonic split systems (we're F-Gas certified) the market however is going to be driven by economic drivers for purchasers, so:

Based on the name brands available in the UK which would you guys back and which would you stay away from and why?

Split or Mono

There are are more than 50 manufacurers of heat pumps certified for installation under the RHI at the moment, the 32 that I actually recognise the names of are:

Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd (Worcester Bosch Group)
Calorex Heat Pumps Limited
Climaveneta S.p.A. (De Longhi)
CTC Division, Enertech Limited
Daikin Europe N.V.
Danfoss Ltd
Earth Save Products Limited
GDC Group Ltd (Dimplex)
Grant Engineering Ltd
Heliotherm Wärmepumpentechnik Ges.m.b.H
Hitachi Air Conditioning Products Europe S.A.U.
Husky Heat Pumps
Ideal Heating
IDM energiesysteme GmbH
Keston Boilers
Kingspan Renewables Ltd.
KUFI INT, s.r.o.
Lailey and Coates Ltd
LG Electronics UK
Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
NIBE Energy Systems Limited
Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH
Samsung Electronics
Solfex Limited
Stiebel Eltron UK Limited
Thermal Earth Ltd (Mastertherm)
Thermia Heat Pumps
Toshiba Air Conditioning
Viessmann Ltd.
Vokera Ltd.

So given that choice, whose would you install and why and whose would you keep away from and why.

Many Thanks. (if you like just copy the list and right good / bad / ugly beside them :) )

01-09-2015, 02:09 PM
Im not working in UK, but in another EU country.

Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH - I've been installing these for years in my country and they have proven to be very reliable and trouble free. The T-Cap model is a bestseller and is really a very nice machine at an OK price. Combined with the HPM Manager you can effortlessly design and build thousands of systems with amazing control and monitoring possibilities.

Samsung Electronics - This is the other brand I work with here and I have to say that Samsung is constantly improving their EHS products. The models work perfectly, the price is good and the service is bespoke. The Mono units that they offer do not include the usual hydronic elements, which is great, because you can stick them in any existing system at lower cost.

Toshiba Air Conditioning - The third brand I use. The machines are very reliable, still made in Japan, but they are not suitable for all cases, because of the big capacity drop at low temperatures (of course they have higher COP, because of the big drop, but the COP wont keep you warm...)

NIBE - Ive worked only with W2W units here. Extremely nice and well working, however the price is in the sky. They work in conjunction with MHI and produce their hydrounits. In return NIBE uses MHI compressors and outdoor units from MHI.

Daikin - From my experience these A2W units are some of the worst on the market - high COP on the label, low COP on site, high quality in the catalogue, but replacing compressors all the time...

Viessmann - They claim to manufacture in Germany, but their A2W units are actually made in China and Israel by Airwell. Once in our local refrigeration forum a representative of the local Viessmann office said that he will file a case against me for saying that their products are chinese. Can you imagine what idiots work there?

MELCO - Tend to be expensive and say how they are better than everybody else. We all know that they are not better, in fact they are worse. Here they have jumped to another level of impudence by selling CAC outdoors with locally purchased plate heat exchangers and pumps, sticked into ecodan hydrounit casing and claiming that this is a real product by MELCO. Ok, this is not MELCO, but the local importer, but it looks like MELCO is ok with it, since they are doing this for years.

Many brands, many problems...

01-09-2015, 04:07 PM
You could have made this thread into a Poll with your top 10 in the list up for voting.
Comments can also be made in a Poll

Just a thought....

01-09-2015, 05:12 PM
Hi Frank , new(ish) yto this forum, and many thanks to AC-From_hell for his great response

Can I bow to your extensive knowledge as to which those top 10 would be? i have some knowledge of 18 of them :)

However there may be a player in the 32 that is disruptive in pricing and marketing so can corner / own the martketplace.

01-09-2015, 05:58 PM
Can't comment but just choose your top 10 in a poll thread and I'll delete this one if you want

01-09-2015, 07:14 PM
Who needs heat pumps when you have more than 300 days of sun per year?13864

01-09-2015, 08:26 PM
Can't comment but just choose your top 10 in a poll thread and I'll delete this one if you want

Hi Frank, is there a sticky on creating a Poll, I googled Vbullletin create a poll but don;t see the option at the bottom of a new thread window to do that.
Actually in the polls forum I can only see the sticky, on Classifieds, I can't see any of the other threads, - Am I too new here?

Who needs heat pumps when you have more than 300 days of sun per year?13864
Not every flat/condo has a roof.
Not every site has space for a thermal store
You still need some form of heating when it's overcast.
We are talking England here :) not Israel!

01-09-2015, 08:43 PM
To buy one unit of mains gas you will pay about 2 - 2.8 p / kWh. Conversely, 1 unit of electricity from the mains will cost you about 9 - 11 p / kWh.
This means that gas is about 4 times cheaper than electricity per kWh.

A boiler is at least 4 x cheaper than an air source heat pump to buy
A boiler is 4 x as reliable as an air source heat pump
A boiler has double the life span of an air source heat pump

Now ask yourself why the damn things don't sell

01-09-2015, 09:44 PM
You are absolutely correct, if you have mains gas, it is (today) the cheapest form of heating that you can get.

However UK energy prices are (artificially due to government subsidies of gas, oil and electricity) some of the lowest in Europe and that won't stay that way.

The market for ASHP's at the moment is primarily the off gas grid - 2.8 million UK homes, where the alternatives are oil or lpg (oil is artificially low priced at this precise moment) , additionally the government has effectively embargoed extending the gas grid, so if gas isn't in your area, it isn't coming to you. These are the same areas where there is considerable fuel poverty.

These are 'social policies' that will drive the uptake, and hence the drive towards ASHP's.

So without getting into a heavy discussion about the why's and wherefores, this is something that will happen, and my question is precisely addressing your comments:
Which ones will last
Which ones will give the least hassle after installed,
Which one will be the cheapest.
and most importantly which ones will have the largest market share.

Interestingly Vaillant claim to have the largest share of the UK boiler market with 1 million units a year installed in the UK - perhaps they've got the BG contract? (Note Vaillant also own GlowWorm)

02-09-2015, 07:24 AM
I agree times are changing and eventually everyone will accept heat pumps and the like as normal. At present our major percentage of electricity is generated by gas power stations, making the environmental justification a complete farce! Unfortunately at the moment the only ones getting sold retrofit heat pumps are older people being ripped off by unscrupulous sales people. The amount of 'green energy' companies coming and going is impressive.

We are missing the real issue in the uk, where current housing design makes it difficult to install renewables and the shortage of housing issues is being addressed with new builds specifying ASHP.
New garden cities have been planned and yet not a single housing estate has even proposed district heating and cooling!

The latest chiller design will offer simultaneous heating and cooling (6 pipe system)

A large ASHP system or ground source etc. could be specified at the design stage of a new housing development with energy metering to the individual.
Yet we are still subjected to dinosaurs of building contractors who just build energy tweaked buildings.

Sorry back to your question on which is best ASHP manufacturer at the moment the jury is out on all of them as there is no long term track record. The technology of design is moving faster than the sales and as with VRF/VRV type systems the equipment is being superceded faster than the attributed lifespan of the equipment.

The process of heat recovery is improving all the time but a lot of energy is still being 'wasted' the 1 box fits all applications scenario for ASHP is still not there yet.