A Panasonic Aquarea heat pump has been installed in a Procyon H1 passive house in Tychowo near Stargard Szczecinski, Poland. With an Aquarea heat pump, analysis has shown that energy consumption and heating bills can be reduced, often by between 50% and 80% in comparison to heating systems fuelled by LPG or oil. The environmentally-friendly Aquarea helps the building adhere to the rigorous, voluntary standard of passive house status, where energy efficiency is maximized and the building’s carbon footprint is minimised. This building in Tychowo is the only certified passive house in West Pomeranian Voivodship.

Tomasz Lenarczyk, Sales Manager for Panasonic, Poland, said: “Aquarea heat pumps are perfect solutions for detached houses (and in this case a passive house). They are fuss-free and residents do not need to invest in other infrastructure. Our products are easy to install and non-disruptive. More and more people are opting for ecological and energy efficient homes – rightly so. It’s the way society is moving, and for that reason, Panasonic has designed new models of Aquarea heat pump, which meet the requirements of low-energy buildings. Not only is this solution seen here environmentally-friendly, but from the owners’ point of view, it’s also a much more flexible and cheaper than a traditional gas boiler”.

About the building

H1 is a model of detached house designed by innovative construction company, Procyon. The building covers an area of 147m2 and consists of four rooms and a kitchen. The simple, clean design of the building is complemented with a gable roof.

The property in Tychowo, built in summer 2013 according to the passive house standard, is the first building in West Pomeranian Voivodship to be passive-house-certified by the Passive House Institute (PHI) in Darmstadt. This certification means that the building fulfils numerous requirements relating to construction processes, implemented solutions and energy consumption. For example, passive houses must have
good levels of insulation, an excellent level of airtightness, good indoor air quality and passive solar gains and internal heat sources.

According to the definition adopted by PHI, a passive house is a structure with a very low annual heating demand of approximately 15 kW/m2. Thermal comfort should be guaranteed by passive heat sources such as occupants, electrical appliances and incoming sunlight, and by significantly reducing the heat loss in a property.

The energy balance of the building is affected by many factors. For example, passive houses are compact in shape to minimize heat loss; windows should be south-facing or oriented toward the sunny side of the property; and interiors that require heat should be located in the central part of the building. It is also essential to use proper insulation materials of sufficient thickness for walls and roof.

Why is Aquarea a brilliant choice for passive houses?

The project team had to select the most energy-efficient and cost-effective home technologies in order to comply with passive house requirements and to complement the energy-conscious design of the building. Therefore, the characteristics of passive houses inevitably affect the choice of heating and cooling solutions. The objective is to maintain an optimal temperature for residents by heating the fresh air supplied to the premises via a mechanical ventilation system. Typically, project managers choose between a condensing boiler, heat pump and solar panels for the simultaneous provision of heating, ventilation and hot water.

The team selected a Panasonic Aquarea heat pump for the production of heating and hot water, thus maintaining the building’s energy-saving ethos. The heat pump is connected to a ventilation system and underfloor heating for maximum comfort and energy-efficiency.

An Aquarea heat pump specifically designed for passive houses

 This H1 property is the first of its kind in Poland, comprising an Aquarea heat pump and water tank with a capacity of 200 litres. The temperature of each room is individually controlled using an IntesisHome remote control system (via a PC or smart device), making the system flexible and able to adapt to residents’ needs and preferences. Residents can control the system from anywhere in the world, as long as they’re connected to the internet.

This Aquarea heat pump (KIT-SDF05E3E5), specifically designed for energy-conscious houses, has a capacity of 5kW (A7/W35) and high COP of 4.63 (at nominal condition 7°C outdoor temperature, heating water at 35°C). Thanks to the A-class circulating pump with an inverter+ compressor, the system helps to reduce energy consumption and heating costs, in comparison to traditional heating systems. The unit belongs to the Aquarea T-CAP series and is able to provide hot water up to 55°C. It is effective even in extreme temperatures (-20°C to 35°C), and if the outside temperature falls below -15°C, the efficiency of the heat pump reduces by 0.8kW only, making it an extremely reliable product.

How can Aquarea heat pumps reduce heating bills?

Procyon recently carried out some research to analyse how heat pumps could help save on heating costs. According to the findings, the annual cost to heat a square-metre to 20°C is approximately 3.7 PLN. Please see how this compares with other heating systems in the chart above. The chart shows that biomass-pellet is the only heat source cheaper than Panasonic Aquarea heat pumps. However, biomass systems are more complex and require a customer to buy and store fuel, replenish the tank, and regularly clean the furnace. Biomass systems also emit by-products of combustion into the atmosphere. In contrast, heat pumps are a hassle-free alternative which require nominal supervision.

Aleksandra Szejny, R&D Specialist at Procyon said: “As the calculations clearly show, by heating a 145 square metre house with natural gas, approximately 4500 kg of CO2 is produced a year. However, with a heat pump, no products of combustion are released into the atmosphere and electricity consumption is low. Panasonic Aquarea heat pumps are a high performing, energy-efficient and low cost heating alternative”.