Global indoor climate company Swegon has seen a rapid growth in demand for their flexible, innovative and energy efficient ‘one box’ solution for water-based simultaneous heating and cooling that removes the need for boiler plant in a wide range of commercial buildings.
The Omicron Rev S4 is a multi-function unit for four-pipe systems featuring chiller, heat recovery and heat pump combined. It is available in 16 models offering cooling capacities from 100kW to 860kW and heating capacities from 100kW to 944kW.
With the Omicron, there is no demand conflict between heating and cooling – as is often found when running separate chiller and boiler circuits – because the Omicron has in-built sequencing for load sharing. The chiller can switch instantly into reverse cycle mode to operate as a heat pump depending on demand.
Built in heat recovery also ensures waste heat is captured and recycled to minimise energy use and the unit can be supplied with inverter driven water pumps to further improve efficiency.
The system uses lower refrigerant volumes than equivalent capacity variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and Hybrid DX systems, at less than 25kg per 100kW.
“This is a great time to bring such an innovative solution to the UK market,” said Swegon’s cooling sales and product director Andy Legg. “We are entering a new phase of the heat pump market thanks to recent changes to government policy on the use of renewables and carbon emission reduction.
“The rapid decarbonisation of our electricity grid is making the environmental and economic argument for heat pumps increasingly strong at the expense of traditional fossil fuel driven boiler solutions.”
The latest adjustments to the standard assessment procedure (SAP) – used to determine the best technologies for reducing carbon emissions from domestic buildings –strengthened the case for using heat pumps instead of boilers.
Other trends identified by Swegon that are driving demand for the Omicron include improved insulation, greater use of glazing – particularly in high-rise buildings – and the increasing amounts of IT equipment in office spaces. All of these factors are shifting the balance towards greater demand for cooling and reducing heating periods in UK commercial buildings. The Omicron makes use of the traditional 4-pipe approach but takes it to a new level by combining the heating and cooling technology in one unit.
“The decarbonisation of the National Grid is further strengthening the case for this kind of solution against traditional boiler plant,” said Mr Legg. “30% of UK electricity now comes from renewable sources and for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, Britain is obtaining more power from zero-carbon sources than fossil fuels.”
Recent improvements to heat pump technology means they are now even more suited to UK climate conditions. “The Omicron system has impressed customers, with its ability to meet heating demand even at external temperatures as low as -17°C.
“This product is a significant step forward for combined heating and cooling solutions,” said Mr Legg. “It builds on tried and tested engineering principles to deliver greater flexibility in line with the pressures on minimising energy consumption through increased efficiency.”