Heating a houseboat


10 April 2019
Mitsubishi Electric says an unusual residential project in west London has demonstrated the benefits and capabilities of its Ultra Quiet Ecodan heat pump.
The residents of a houseboat in Brentford wanted an alternative heating solution that would be both cost and carbon efficient, as well as easy to maintain.
The two-bedroom family home was originally fitted with a diesel tank, which the residents wanted to stop using. Not only was it an unsafe, polluting method of heating to use in a confined space, it also required fuel deliveries on a regular basis.
The solution was to install a 11.2kW Ultra Quiet Ecodan with solar PV. The Ultra Quiet Ecodan would provide all the heat for underfloor heating, as well as all the domestic hot water needs. Due to height restrictions on the boat, a bespoke horizontal 200L cylinder (sourced through a third party) was used.
The heat pump was sited on a small space on the decking. Space limitations also meant that any sound generated was going to be significant, as any solution would inevitably be installed close to the living spaces. The Ultra Quiet Ecodan, with industry-leading sound pressure levels at 1m of 45dB(A), ensured that noise levels were low enough not to travel into the cabin living space.
The residents are benefitting from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), with a quarterly grant for the next seven years helping to offset some of the costs. The installation also included the Metering & Monitoring Service Package (MMSP) from Mitsubishi Electric, which delivers further benefits under RHI.
The solar PV enables the family to generate electricity that can either be fed back to the grid or used within the property itself. It gives them the flexibility to use only the amount of electricity they need and store whatever isn’t used, in battery packs.
Installer Solid Renewables said: “The owners of the houseboat wanted a safe, reliable and clean energy solution to keep their family warm, whilst cutting down on their carbon footprint. We enjoyed the logistical challenge of fitting a heat pump in such a confined and unusual space. It’s fantastic to see that everything is working well and that those living on the houseboat are able to enjoy the warmth in peace and quiet, without the reliance on needing to regularly transport diesel to the boat, which was often a challenge, given the changing tide!” ​
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