Winter tests prove credentials

Live trials of Mitsubishi Electric’s award-winning Ecodan systems over the past winter have clearly demonstrated that the low-carbon heating system lives up to expectations and is more than capable of dealing with whatever the British weather can throw at it.

All three different models in the range have been put through their paces using state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to record the live performance in four different locations around the UK.

The properties included a 3-bed terraced house, a 4-bed semi, a large 5-bed detached home, and the BRE Visitor’s Centre in Watford.  Of the houses, only the 3-bed property was newly built, with retro-fitted Ecodan units replacing the traditional heating system in the other two.

“We saw temperatures drop to -9ºC and -10ºC at times throughout the country which is exactly what we were hoping for as it meant we were able to put theory into practice,” explained Max Halliwell, product manager for Mitsubishi Electric Heating.

“All too often, different heating systems manufacturers make different claims based on technical data or lab tests under very favourable conditions and this presents a confused message to the public.

“What we are now able to do is categorically state that Ecodan will deliver the performance necessary to cope extremely well throughout the British year and show that this has been achieved in a variety of different properties and configurations.”

The tests involved different combinations of hot water, and space heating via both radiators and underfloor heating. The units in the properties delivered COP’s ranging from 3.0 to 3.33, despite some of the lowest recorded outdoor temperatures for decades.  A level of 3.33 shows that 2.33kW of renewable energy is being harvested from the surrounding air for every 1kW of electricity used and Ecodan is therefore operating at an efficiency level of 333%.

“All four of these units have hit much higher COPs at some point over the winter, but we wanted people to be able to trust the figures we use to support our marketing activities and that’s why we have averaged them out over the whole period,” added Halliwell.

“We are delighted with these results, especially as we know that we will be able to improve on them and they all go to help reinforce our belief that Ecodan really is the most viable, mass-market alternative to gas and oil-fired heating,” ended Halliwell.

Unlike many other air source heat pump systems, Ecodan has been specifically designed for the UK market and deliberately tailored to be easy to install by a suitably qualified plumber or installer who has been on the one-day course.

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