Underfloor heating in zero-carbon building

The use of an air-to-water heat pump to serve Osma underfloor heating in this project in the Shetland Islands makes an important contribution to achieving zero carbon emissions
Underfloor heating has been chosen for a ground-breaking zero-carbon house project in the Shetland Islands. The project aims to show how an holistic approach to renewable energy can eliminate household carbon emissions. The Osma underfloor heating system is supplied with hot water by an air-to-water heat pump, which also provides domestic hot water via a heat store. The heat storage for this zero-carbon house is an insulated 3200 litre ‘water battery’ with an integrated titanium coil to pick up thermal gain and transfer pre-heated water to the domestic water tank under gravity. The wall of the titanium tube is very thin, so heat is transferred very efficiently. The water battery loses only 2 K if left unused for over a hundred hours. The underfloor heating requires water at 40 to 60°C, which can readily be produced by the heat pump. Zero-carbon heat from the heat pump will also augment passive solar collection in a doubly insulated 48 m2 high-tech greenhouse via underfloor heating. The greenhouse will be use to grow fruit and vegetables, reducing food miles. Rex Ingram of Osma says, ‘We are very proud to be associated with this amazing project, which is paving the way for a new generation of truly energy-efficient housing. It recognises the unique qualities of underfloor heating systems that make our products remarkably energy and cost efficient, while providing the level of comfort and reliability required for effective home heating in this remote location.The zero-carbon house shows that by taking an off-the-shelf property and installing some energy-saving technologies, you can make a real contribution to saving our planet.’
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