Dementia care home chooses Lochinvar gas absorption heat pump
Renewable energy for a new care home in Derbyshire that specialises in dementia is provided by an integrated heating and hot-water system using a gas absorption heat pump from Lochinvar. Solar PV panels were originally considered for the Callywhite Home, but on inspection it was decided that an Optimus gas absorption heat pump was more appropriate for this type of project. It also met planning requirements at a considerably lower cost that solar PV, even taking into account the potential solar feed-in tariff.
Built over three floors, the home accommodates 39 residents, two of whom are over 100 years old. It has been carefully designed for the elderly and those living with dementia, based on the industry’s guidelines for dementia care developed by the University of Stirling.
As well as the heat pump, the installation comprises condensing boilers and water heaters, also from Lochinvar.
To meet guidelines for dementia care, it was decided that space heating should be provided by an underfloor system to deliver gentle low-temperature heat and avoid the use of radiators on safety grounds. The Optimus heat pump has a gas utilisation efficiency of 152% at a flow temperature of 50°C when the ambient air is 7°C. Engineers from services contractor Martin Dixon worked with Lochinvar to integrate the Optimus heat pump with CPM high-efficiency condensing boilers to meet the space-heating requirements.
The heat pump provides heated water to a thermal store that serves the underfloor heating system. The two CPM boilers are only used as back up and to provide extra heating capacity on very cold winter days.
Separation of heating and hot-water generation has long been regarded as an effective and efficient solution for a range of commercial buildings, and two EcoCharger condensing gas-fired water heaters meet all the hot-water needs of the home. They are designed around the principle of hot-water storage with fast recovery. Hot-water temperatures are carefully managed using thermostatic mixing valves to guard against scalding but without having to reduce stored-water temperatures and increasing the risk of legionella.