Daikin is the first manufacturer to launch heat pumps for the residential segment with R-32 refrigerant ensuring that the outdoor unit can operate even at temperatures of -25° C
Flexibility, efficiency, long-term investment return and low environmental impact are just some of the reasons why more and more Romanians are looking to replace older heating equipment with heat pumps that use renewable energy. Each kilowatt of electricity used by a heat pump generates between 3 and 4 kilowatts of renewable heat from the air, which is an increase in efficiency by 300-400%, according to Daikin specialists, market leader in heat pump technology, with over 90 years of experience in designing and manufacturing innovative heating and cooling technologies. Daikin Romania recorded a doubling of heat pump sales in the fiscal year closed on March 31, 2021 compared to the previous year, and the sales growth trend continues this year.
As governments become proactive in terms of long-term sustainability and begin to implement strategies to achieve carbon neutrality, heat pumps are gaining an increasing share of the heating market including on the local market. One of the smartest heating technologies currently available, heat pumps provide the best mix between high efficiency, lowest operating costs, unique comfort and durability.
The heat pump is a heating equipment suitable for new installations and replacements and can also be connected to underfloor heating systems, fan coils or radiators, being a solution four times more efficient than traditional alternatives. It can also be installed with an integrated domestic hot water system or connected to an external boiler, so that hot water is always available to the consumer. The heat pump is also an optimal air conditioning solution for areas where there is no access to gas and can collect up to 75% of the energy used from air and the rest from electricity.
Furthermore, since outdoor air or soil is always a source of energy, a high-performance heat pump can heat efficiently even in the coldest conditions. Daikin’s Altherma 3 system, for example, which works with Bluevolution, the most innovative technology using R-32 refrigerant, provides heat and domestic hot water even when the outside temperature is -25° C. Because it does not burn natural gas and oil, it maximizes energy consumption from renewable resources.
“There is a preconception that heat pumps provide only heat, their usefulness being limited to creating a pleasant environment in the house during the cold season. In reality, the installation replaces several air conditioning solutions, because it provides heating in winter, coolness in summer and domestic hot water all year round. The Romanian heat pump market is not yet fully exploited, offering a large-scale growth potential. Our turnover in the heat pumps segment doubled last fiscal year, and this year we have kept the upward trend and we are currently recording a doubling of sales, compared to the same period last year. At first glance, the initial investment in a heat pump installation may be considerable, but this money will soon be saved thanks to reduced monthly electricity bills. At Daikin, we make sure that our heating solutions are designed to the highest standards to ensure absolute comfort, high energy efficiency and intuitive, direct control from your smartphone“, says Daniel Vasile, Managing Director of Daikin Romania.
The heat pump can successfully replace both gas and wood boilers
Beyond the context of the European Commission’s long-term strategic vision on climate impact, in Romania an important stimulus for the increase of the demand for heat pumps is represented by the replacement of wood thermal power plants which, in addition to the fact that they are very common, they generate a great deal of discomfort to the users as they require manual feeding, most of the time permanent. The heat pump can successfully replace both a gas-fired boiler and a wood-fired boiler. Also, those who renovate their home and want to replace the old heating plant can also keep the existing radiators if they wish.
What differentiates a heat pump from a central heating plant, for example, is how the heat is generated, not how it is distributed. Thus, instead of burning fuel to generate heat, a heat pump uses a process of evaporating and condensing the refrigerant. Strictly technical, the heat pump is an equipment that extracts the available energy from the ground or air, adjusts it and releases it elsewhere, at the desired or necessary temperature to produce heat or domestic hot water.
The main criterion in choosing the right heating system depends on the type of home and the existing heating system. For new homes, energy-efficient buildings and the replacement of electric heating systems, low-temperature air-to-water heat pumps will provide heating, hot water and optional cooling, and air-to-air heat pumps, commonly known as air conditioners, are an easy-to-install option with low investment. Heat pumps with geothermal source are an extremely efficient and cost-effective option for new homes, where the installation can be performed along with other construction works, without too many modifications.
High temperature air-to-water heat pumps are ideal for connecting to an existing piping system and older radiators, which operate at higher temperatures than modern heating systems. Daikin specialists recommend to those who are renovating a home and need to replace an old generation thermal power plant to opt for a hybrid heat pump. For example, the Daikin Altherma Hybrid saves up to 35% more energy compared to a condensing gas boiler. It basically combines the technology of air-to-water heat pumps with a condensing gas boiler and guarantees the highest efficiency. It also uses condensing technology to provide heating and hot water consumption 10-15% more efficiently than condensing gas boilers. And thanks to the compact design, the Daikin Altherma hybrid heat pump requires a minimum of installation space, perfectly integrating existing pipes and radiators.
Last but not least, policies such as energy price liberalization can positively influence the demand and market of heat pumps in Romania. The elimination of incentives for fossil fuels is also very important. Currently, these incentives benefit from different heating systems to the detriment of heat pumps, because they are more affordable systems, and technologies that use renewable energy need a level playing field. The gap between current electricity and gas prices in many Member States is too large to make heat pumps accessible to all European citizens.
Installing, upgrading or replacing complex HVAC-R installations with heat pump systems can also be a cost-cutting measure for many space owners in the current economic context. Some countries, such as Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and France, offer subsidies to help developers and business owners turn their buildings into greener and more compliant spaces. Specially designed to heat a wide range of spaces, including hotels, hospitals, office buildings, shopping malls and industrial facilities, Daikin R-32 heat pumps with low global warming potential (GWP) can meet heating and cooling demands ranging from 4 to 18 kilowatts, and when using a “waterfall” system can reach a capacity of over 100 kilowatts.