Individual Solutions for Multi Family Buildings

In the market for Multi Family Buildings the number individual Heat Pump Water Heaters for each apartment is the best solution. This type of heat pumps with a storage tank and in most applications internal ventilation air as source are often too big for small apartments. Innovative solutions focus to solve this problem.

Individual HPWH’s for new buildings

Newly built apartments use little energy for space heating, especially in warmer regions but also already in colder regions. Space heating then often is generated centrally and distributed at low temperatures with an individual Air source HPWH as optimal system solution. An example is in Les Bourderies, Nantes, France with the construction of 32 social housing units with very low energy consumption, equipped with individual HPWH on collective exhaust air ventilation system. But also the St. Thomas Halls project in Belfast, Northern Ireland. These projects show the potential in colder regions

A typical example is the luxury apartment building ‘The President’ in Vleuten (Netherlands) which has been developed to meet the latest standards going much further than required by legislation. The system is managed by an EsCo. Experience in the past showed that oversizing in such projects can be a problem.

The President in Vleuten (NL)

Individual HPWH’s for existing buildings

Especially existing Multi Family Buildings are a challenge. In the past governmental policy focused on renovating towards decentralized solutions, which seems to be forgotten as many local governments focus on district heating.

Examples of renovation are in Rennes with the renovation of 21 collective dwellings with individual air source heat pump water heaters with propane as refrigerant. Also in Paddepoel – Groningen, where individual air to water heat pumps in the 48 apartments have been installed. More of these examples can be found on web sites of heat pump manufacturers/suppliers.

Example of HPWH on internal ventilation (CLIVET)

Plug & Play Solutions

As with deep renovation especially in multifamily buildings the domestic hot water is the key energy factor that should be solved with individual systems as individual solutions, where hot water is generated at the location it is needed, are the best solution for multi-family buildings. In recent years a number of development projects in Europe have been executed, among these the Austrian FFG project ‘SaLüH!’ and the Swiss ‘KoDeWa’ project to tackle this problem. Both projects have focused on integrating heat pump and storage system into the building structure. Only the Swiss KoDeWa project until day has resulted in a commercially available product for a pilot in Basel has been monitored. On other levels Plug & Play concepts, like in Paddepoel (NL) are important solutions towards a quick deployment of energy solutions in renovation.

The KoDeWa project in Switzerland
Paddepoel in Groningen (NL)
SaLüH! project in Austria
Soendalaan in Vlaardingen (NL)
Multi Boiler concept by ITHO-Daalderop

Individual Double Function Heat Pumps

Decentralized solutions are the best solution also for renovation projects as has been demonstrated at the Soendalaan project in Vlaardingen (Netherlands). In this pilot, 12 porch houses are renovated into ‘Nearly Zero Energy’. The Multiboiler concept in this project is based upon individual double function heat pumps. This concept, first applied in De Tas and later on in a corporate project in De Bomenwijk, has a collective closed loop ground source and provides space heating and domestic hot water for two to four apartments with each heat pump with an individual hot water storage tank of 150 litres for each apartment.

This solution with the Multi Boiler Concept by the Dutch company of ITHO Daalderop is of great interest for new high rise buildings like De State in Amsterdam with 23 floors.

Booster Heat Pump

High temperature district heating networks are not sustainable and won’t offer CO2 reductions on the long term. Still heat networks can offer an interesting energy solution, provided that low temperature sustainable heat is used as source. This 4th generation of district heating can expect to gain a relatively small market share of 15 – 25% of the overall buildings stock in 2040. The main challenge is the sufficient and safe generation of sanitary and domestic hot water.

The booster heat pump is developed especially in Netherlands and Denmark for this 4th generation District Heating, but also directly applicable to Multi Family Buildings with a low temperature distribution system for space heating. In a project done by Braber et al in Nijmegen for the Municipality of Nijmegen the technology was studied and the results presented at the 11th IEA Heat Pump Conference. Later on the Dutch Government developed the test procedures. One of the first projects in Netherlands has been at the care home of Sophiastaete.

Sophiastaete in Hendrik Ido Ambacht
Field test in Nijmegen
Booster Heat Pump by ECOON/ITHO-Daalderop
Booster Heat Pump by Alpha Innotec

Away from District Heating

A great number of high temperature District Heating networks exist. In Finland as in other Scandinavian countries getting off of the district heating grid is getting to be trend. Examples are known where only the largest system losses were tackled by just installing a domestic hot water heat pump, but also of complete make-overs where also space heating is generated by a heat pump. Three examples are described in an article in the HPC Magazine.

Earlier on at the 11th IEA Heat Pump Conference already a paper was presented on a heat pump recovering exhausted air installed large apartment building in the city of Jyväskylä, located in central Finland. This 6-floor building was built in 1971 and connected to district heating, using 750 megawatt hour annually. The heat pump is connected to the radiator heating circuit as well as to the tap water circuit via a buffer tank.

Renovated Multi Family Building in Jyväskylä