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Title: Understanding the field performance of domestic heat pumps : an analysis of recent residential heat pump field trials and training needs
Author: Gleeson, C. P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 0217
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores heat pump performance. Renewable technology, based on ambient conditions, is at a distinct thermodynamic disadvantage when compared with such technologies as gas condensing boilers since the temperature gradients in which they work are so much smaller. This disadvantage makes renewable technologies, and specifically heat pumps, sensitive to design and installation practice. A mixed methods approach of quantitative and qualitative investigation is applied, principally through the analysis of heat pump field trial performance; a meta-analysis of eight European field trials of over 600 heat pump installations in terms of historical and contemporary system boundaries, and a taxonomical analysis of the UK Energy Saving Trust field trial. The trials are placed in context through the analysis of UK central heating practice, UK and EU policy, thermodynamics, manufacturers’ test regimes and a pilot field trial. From this analysis it is apparent that a wide range of performance is exhibited by residential heat pump installations. This potential to underperform, or ‘sensitivity to context’, is explored through its plausible link to vocational education and training (VET). The process of re-aligning EU VET for heat pumps is underway, driven in the UK by the Microgeneration Scheme’s design literature and training requirements. However, doubts remain as to the abilities of current UK contractors to synthesise the technical design requirements given the relatively low educational demands made on residential heating occupations when compared with EUCERT heat pump requirements, more closely aligned with the Continental concept of savoir-faire, 'know-how' or berufliche Handlungsfähigkeit, a multidimensional 'occupational capacity'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available