Worcester Bosch is one of the sponsors of the Installing the Future. Now! feature at InstallerSHOW from 21st to 23rd June at the NEC. Ahead of the event, we spoke to Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Services, to find out what visitors can expect.
You’re sponsoring our Installing the Future. NOW! part of the show, can you tell us which of your products visitors will be able to see here?
For the last 60 years that Worcester Bosch has been in business, we have always tried to help lead the way when it comes to the future of heating and energy, such as being the pioneers of the Combi boiler all those years ago.
This is why we sponsoring the Installing the Future. NOW! area, as we believe the industry is going through one of its biggest changes in recent years. Couple decarbonisation with the rising cost of energy use and you can see that the heating industry is subject to more attention than ever before. It’s a good opportunity for us all to show how innovative and adaptable we can be and learn from each other – InstallerSHOW is central to that.
With that in mind, we are showcasing our latest technology which looks to support the road towards net zero. This includes our recently launched 7400i air to water heat pump and our award-winning hydrogen ready boiler
Have you seen a big increase in demand for heat pumps since the launch of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
We have certainly seen an increase in requests or questions from both installers or their homeowner customers around heat pumps.
This is something we expect will continue to rise as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme continues to pick-up in popularity and if hybrid technology (where a system has both a heat pump and boiler) gets more widely accepted.
Are your heat pumps suitable for both domestic and commercial applications?
Our latest heat pump product, the Worcester Bosch 700iAW air to water heat pumps are suitable for domestic use depending on the property type. They have been designed with both comfort and efficiency in mind.
The outdoor units are designed to be quiet, with noise levels as low as 39dB, which is why it has been Quiet Mark certified. In terms of energy use, for every 1kW of energy use, the heat pump can produce up to 5x that in output resulting in incredibly high efficiencies.
What heat pump training do you have available for installers?
We offer a range of low carbon training courses for installers, including some on heat pumps. We run a 1-day course introducing our Compress 7000i air to water & hybrid heat pumps for example, both in-person and online versions.
We’ve also collaborated with the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) to develop an online training course for general heat pump installation to help increase skills across the industry in this area. In July we will be offering the Ofqual course authored by the Heat Pump Association that offer eligibility to become MCS registered and therefore eligible to apply for any grant funding that may be on offer.
What additional tools do you provide your installers?
We provide a number of tools to support installers whether that be training, technical services or customer support – and we’re always looking to develop more to support with the back up they need when out on the field.
For example, our most recent tool is our ‘Virtual Tech’ instant video calling platform which enables installers to virtually speak to the company’s technical support team in real-time.
The platform is simple to use, with installers inputting their specialist installer number to create a link. The installer then receives a text, enabling them to access the platform.
From there a video stream is generated between the installer and our tech support where the installer is virtually able to move the screen around the boiler or product in question to show the issue.
What do homeowners or social landlords need to consider when weighing up heat pump options?
Homeowners and landlords need to consider the suitability of a heat pump to the home. If the property for example has an existing combi boiler then space for a hot water cylinder will be required when fitting a heat pump.
A room-by-room heat loss calculation should also be undertaken to ascertain whether any existing radiators and pipework is suitable for the lower temperatures and different Delta T than a heat pump operates at.
The EPC rating of the property also needs to be considered, as remedial works may be required on the house fabric to ensure that the heat pump can run reliably and efficiently when it is installed.
Tell us about your hydrogen-ready boiler and the applications it is suitable for
Our hydrogen-ready boiler is a gas-ﬁred 30kw boiler which is capable of burning either natural gas or pure (100%) hydrogen. Hydrogen-ready boilers are the key to enabling conversion of the existing gas distribution networks from natural gas (which is mostly methane) to hydrogen.
Hydrogen is a carbon-free energy carrier and combustion of hydrogen produces no Carbon Dioxide or Carbon Monoxide at the point of use. A hydrogen-ready boiler is intended to provide a like-for-like replacement for an existing natural gas boiler.
With that in mind, it will be suitable for nearly all existing properties.
What training will installers need for this?
Given a hydrogen-ready boiler looks and runs pretty much identical to natural gas, therefore not much additional training will be required for installers to fit the product. The national training criteria is still being considered however, it is likely to be similar to LPG with an extra day or so over and above the normal Gas Safety Qualifications.
What’s next for you and renewable energy more generally?
Well Net Zero is here to stay so anything which helps achieve that is possible. We are likely to see more development of Hydrogen Ready boilers so the full portfolio of all gas boilers can be easily converted to Hydrogen.
I believe we will see more innovative options for storage of heat being introduced with smaller products likely to be using phase change materials rather than water. We will also see more creative heat pump and Hybrid options being introduced that combine a heat pump into the boiler casing thereby making the need for an external unit unnecessary.