The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has developed and published a new National Standard Recommendation for the design and installation of Heat Pumps in homes.
This new Standard Recommendation is one of a suite of measures developed in direct response to actions set out in the Climate Action Plan 2019, which will help us achieve our ambitious decarbonisation targets.
The Standard Recommendation (S.R. 50-4:2021) concentrates on the types of heat pump that are installed in homes to provide heating and hot water and provides guidelines for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of heat pump systems.
In 2018, the average dwelling emitted 5.2 tonnes of energy-related CO2. 66% of this was from direct fuel use in the home. The sector must reduce its CO2 eq. emissions significantly to meet 2030 emissions reduction targets, which will require the installation of 600,000 heat pumps, including 400,000 to be installed in existing homes.
The NSAI were identified as a key stakeholder, under Action 66, ‘Roadmap to develop supply chain to support the phase out of fossil fuel boilers in new dwellings.’ Early consultation with relevant stakeholders, including regulators and industry experts, supported a decision to extend the scope of the document to include existing dwellings, enabling wider level of support to Government policy on retrofitting.
Heat pumps work differently from traditional heat sources such as boilers, which generate heat by combusting fuel (e.g. natural gas, oil, LPG etc). Heat pumps are like refrigerators and air conditioning systems: they use a refrigerant cycle to extract low-grade heat (usually under 25 °C) and upgrade it to higher grade heat, i.e. at a higher temperature at which it is useful. Heat pumps move heat, hence the name heat pump.