04 July 1996
At present domestic heat pumps in the UK attract limited interest, although heat pumps are used to some extent in domestic swimming pool markets and in some houses which use electricity as their sole source of energy. In the commercial buildings sector however, the heat pump is fully accepted as an energy efficient device for cooling and heating. In this market the use of heat pumps is regarded as normal. The Heat Pump Association, representing the major industrial and utility players, was formed to promote the benefits and the proper use of heat pumps and heat pump technology. It concentrates on improving awareness and application of heat pumps as a means of using energy efficiently, cost-effectively and with a minimum impact on the environment. In the industrial sector heat pumps are used in small numbers for drying and in distillation processes. Capital cost is a major constraint. A new application area is affluent concentration, which can create large environmental benefits. The seminar/workshop “Heat Pumps in the UK: The New Opportunities” held on July 7, 1996 in Reading, UK, provided a valuable exchange of information on the current European and UK market situation and trends in heat pumping technology for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The 12 papers presented at the seminar and the results of the 3 afternoon workshops on domestic, commercial, and industrial heat pumps are compiled in these IEA Heat Pump Centre proceedings. The paper highlights the benefits of heat pumps in the UK, the domestic and European markets, and introduce international and national organisations and their plans for co-operation.