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Title: Assessing the potential of heat pumps to reduce energy-related carbon emissions from UK housing in a changing climate
Author: Irving, Robert
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis describes three connected stages of development and analysis of residential heat pump energy use: firstly, the analysis of heat pump performance data from a monitoring study of ground source heat pumps; secondly, the definition and development of a generalised residential heat pump energy model embedded within an enhanced dwelling energy model; finally, the analysis of the effects of possible residential heat pump installation scenarios on the UK energy supply and carbon emissions. The monitoring study involved three ground source heat pump installations. The data collected consisted of heat output, electric power input, system temperatures and system status indicators. Analysis indicated that these systems showed reductions in carbon emissions from homes ranging from 18% to 37% compared with their counterfactual fuel-burning systems. The monitoring study provided empirical values to parameterise the heat pump model which was built around a linear regression relationship of heat pump COP to source / sink temperature differential based on heat pump performance data from standard laboratory test results. This model was added in a new module to enhance the BRE domestic energy model, BREDEM-8, which provides monthly estimates. Estimating rules were included for energy use from bivalent alternate, bivalent parallel operation and space cooling. The enhanced BREDEM-8 model was used to analyse the effects of possible residential heat pump installations within a housing stock energy model developed using the English Housing Survey datasets as a data source. Baseline estimates for the current stock were created using data reduction techniques to provide parameters (u-values, glazing details) for the enhanced BREDEM-8 model. Scenarios for heat pump deployments were created for the periods up to 2020 and 2050, selecting dwellings for heat pump application according to scenarios reflecting the perceived needs of the period, ie. the likely reduction in UK generating capacity up to 2020 and CO2 emissions reduction targets to 2050. Results showed that up to 2020, a policy of targeting dwellings with the highest overall emissions for replacement would reduce carbon emissions by 7.6%, at the expense of a 12% increase in electricity consumption. Targeting dwellings with the highest emitting existing systems caused a smaller increase in electricity consumption of about 6.5% with carbon emissions reduced by about 6.8%. The scenarios for the period to 2050, including 80% replacement of gas systems with heat pumps, gave an estimated 80% reduction in carbon emissions, when accompanied by an similar reduction in the carbon intensity of electricity generation and bringing about an increase in electricity consumption of somewhat over 40%. The effect of the more extreme scenario is to replace all but a small proportion of the energy used for heating and hot water with standard rate electricity, in 84.6% of the dwellings, and retaining gas in the remainder, 15.2%, bringing about a radical shift to electric heating throughout the housing stock.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available