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Air Conditioning - Altherma Systems

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Altherma Systems

Altherma: Heat pump technology at its best...

The Daikin Altherma total heating and cooling system is based on heat pump technology and represents a flexible and cost effective alternative to a fossil fuel boiler, with a cooling and sanitary warm water option. The inherent energy efficiency characteristics of Altherma makes it an ideal solution to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Daikin: the leader in heat pump technology

Altherma's remarkable energy efficiency stems from its unique combination of the highly efficient Daikin inverter driven compressor and variable set point temperature capability, which enables the system to match its output precisely to the actual heating demand of the building.

Furthermore, comfort is maximized and energy consumption minimized by its ability to regulate heat emitter temperature to the optimum level.

Outdoor unit

The outdoor unit extracts free low temperature heat from the surrounding air and increases its temperature. Upgraded heat is then transmitted via the refrigerant circuit to the indoor hydro-box.

Indoor hydro-box

The indoor hydro-box transfers the heat in the refrigerant to the water circulated in the central heating radiators, under floor heating system and sanitary hot water tank. In the combined heating & cooling version of the indoor hydro-box cooling is achieved by reducing the water temperature to 4°C and circulating it through fan coil units. The system can also provide moderate cooling via the under floor heating system or radiators by limiting the lowest water temperature. The preparation of sanitary hot water is performed by switching the system from cooling or heating to sanitary mode.

Sanitary hot water tank (optional)

A purpose built stainless steel water tank, constructed to maintain the highest levels of energy efficiency, is available to meet sanitary hot water needs. The combination of an electric booster heater in the upper part of the tank and a heat pump heat exchanger in the lower part ensures the lowest possible energy consumption with rapid water heating. In addition, a built in function raises the water temperature to 70°C or higher at least once a week to remove any possibility of legionella growth.

Indoor fan coil units (optional)

Our fan coil range can be connected to the Altherma system for cooling.

System controls

Climate Control Systems and the user interface are contained within the hydro-box and feature a weekly timer that enables the indoor temperature to be controlled according to user requirements. The timer is programmable on an hourly or daily basis so that temperatures can be reduced at night or during holidays and increased prior to rising in the morning or returning home. User comfort according to personal preference is thus maintained at all times. Where control over individual room temperatures and comfort levels is needed a conventional room controller should be added.

Question: What is a heat pump?

A heat pump extracts low temperature energy from the environment and increases its temperature for heating purposes. Heat pump efficiencies are normally quoted as the coefficient of performance of the system, these are typically in the range 3 to 5. In other words, extracting heat from renewable sources requires just 1kW of electrical input in order to generate 3kW to 5kW of heating output. Heat pump systems therefore, are 3 to 5 times more efficient than fossil fuel boilers and are more than capable of warming a house completely, even during the lowest winter temperatures. The increasing popularity of these heating systems is reflected by their overwhelmingly successful application in the cold climates of Scandinavia.

Low temperature heating combined advantages

Rapid progress in heating technology and improved building insulation allows water temperatures of 55ºC or less to be sufficient nowadays to heat a house thoroughly, even at extremely low outside temperatures. High levels of comfort with the added benefit of lower energy consumption can therefore be achieved due to the smaller temperature differential between the heat emitter and the room itself. Most modern water-based heating systems operate at low temperatures, supplying heat via radiators or underfloor heating systems, individually or in combination.

Optimised use of heat pump technology

Heat pumps are inherently clean and reliable, and traditionally use water to water or air to air technology. The Altherma air to water system, however, represents the best of both technologies, combining

the accessibility of air as the heat source;

low investment cost (no high cost drilling or extensive excavation work is required nor the construction of a chimney, consequently, the system is ideally suited for inner city application or where space is limited);

emission free operation;

easy installation and maintenance, with the comfort of using a water based heating system.

Free energy from the air

Heat sources for low temperature heating systems include conventional fossil fuel boilers and electricity. Altherma as an alternative is a far more efficient solution. More than 2/3 of the energy used by Altherma over the year is freely available in the air. The system can operate down to -20°C (including backup heater). As a result, Altherma can generate all the heat necessary to warm a house comfortably. All heat pumps require electrical input in order to upgrade the low temperature.

Altherma for example, can supply 3.8kW (preliminary at Eurovent design conditions i.e. 7°C ambient / 35°C leaving water temperature) of heat to a building from just 1kW of electrical input.

Flexible application, easy installation

The Altherma system features an outdoor and indoor unit; both are compact. The outdoor unit can be located discreetly outside new and existing residential buildings. The indoor unit can be installed in any convenient space, removing the need for a dedicated technical room.

Total solution for year-round comfort

In addition to the basic comfort requirements of providing heat, Altherma can deliver even more. The system is designed to supply your sanitary hot water needs all year round and can be selected with a cooling option for the hot summer months, thus satisfying your desires for all year-round comfort.

Altherma can be configured in three ways - monoenergetic, monovalent and bivalent - to optimise the balance between investment and running costs, and to extend the types of projects for which Altherma can be used. Professional Daikin installers will provide details on how each of these versions can be applied to any particular building. In addition to these three configurations, Altherma can also be combined with alternative renewable heat sources such as solar panels for domestic hot water heating.

The Monoenergetic Altherma system

The heat pump is sized to provide 90-95% of the annual heating requirement, with the remaining 5-10% supplied by a small electric backup heater. A good practice is to select the heat pump to cover 60% of the heating demand on the coldest day. Using Altherma in the monoenergetic configuration is recommended for the majority of applications because it offers the optimum balance between investment costs and running cost.

The Monovalent Altherma system

The heat pump is sized to provide 100% of the heating requirement on the coldest day of the year. This solution is recommended for ultra-low energy houses and for moderate climates without severe winters. The initial investment costs may be higher but energy consumption is the lowest of all systems.

The Bivalent Altherma system

Bivalent systems combine two separate heat sources, the heat pump and a fossil fuel boiler. There are two types of bivalent system: series connected (where the configuration is the same as a monoenergetic system but with the backup heater replaced by the boiler) and parallel connected. When series connected the boiler is sized to cover capacity peaks only, in parallel configuration the boiler is sized to cover the full capacity on the coldest day of the year. The parallel bivalent configuration is recommended where a heating system exists. Adding Altherma optimises the energy consumption of the system.

Contact us for advice on the best solution for your space, the best cooling system to suit your needs and budget, and for a free quote.