SAP 2012 – What’s changed? (Heat Pumps)

One of the big changes in the recently published SAP2012 was the performance assigned to Heat Pumps…

SAP dictates how a dwelling will perform against the TER set by the standards, so picking out the changes from SAP2009 gives us a few pointers as regards dwelling performance under the next regulations.

Following performance issues highlighted by EST field trials regarding some installed performance, Heat Pump efficiencies have been reduced in SAP2012 for any product not in the Product Characteristics Data File (PCDF).

For heat pumps that aren’t in the PCDF, if installed under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), default efficiencies are adjusted by a multiplier, which brings their efficiency back up to SAP2009 levels.  (SAP Assessors will require Proof of MCS installation for this however). There is also a caveat in the document that notes that this adjustment is subject to verification that MCS installation does make a difference.                                             

Electric heat pumps

Default efficiency

MCS Adjustment (COP multiplied by)

SAP 2009 efficiency for comparison (Adjusted for emitter)

Space

Water

Space

Water

Ground source heat pump, underfloor heating

230

170

1.39

1.32

320

Water source heat pump, underfloor heating

230

170

1.39

1.32

300

Air source heat pump, underfloor heating

170

170

1.47

1.03

250

Ground source heat pump, radiators

170

170

1.32

1.32

224

Water source heat pump, radiators

170

170

1.32

1.32

210

Air source heat pump, radiators

170

170

1.03

1.03

175

What this means:

  • No changes for heat pumps that are SAP Appendix Q tested (Such as Kingspan Renewables’ Aeromax Plus air source heat pumps).
  • Roughly no change to current SAP2009 levels for systems subject to MCS registered installation (Proof required by the SAP assessor!)
  • Other installations will be assigned a poorer performance than previously.

Where the default performance has been downgraded, the designer will now need to compensate elsewhere in their specification – or instead specify something with evidence to back up the performance claimed.

 

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About

Jon Ducker is a qualified energy assessor working for Kingspan Insulation Ltd. He has an extensive knowledge of energy efficiency, renewable energy systems and sustainability in buildings with an expert knowledge of the relevant sections of buildings regulations and standards and their interactions with SAP. He provides authoritative advice regarding energy assessments for a wide range of public and private sector clients.