Rinnai: Hybrid systems are one of the many roads to support net zero

Rinnai Managing Director, Tony Gittings, outlines a future where all sites are given specific and detailed attention in producing an optimum value proposition.

Tony Gittings
Managing Director

All sites can be provided with heating and hot water system solutions that produce practical, economic, and technical results – on and off grid. One specific solution that is here and now is the hybrid system.

A hybrid (or dual fuel) heating system combines both a high efficiency continuous flow water heater, or perhaps a hydrogen ready water heater in the future, with a renewable heating system such as a commercial air source heat pump or a Solar Thermal arrangement.

Widespread use of hybrid heating and hot water systems is increasingly relevant to the heating industry as the UK Government aims to reduce national reliance on fossil fuels. A hybrid system can meet all objectives in terms of being practical, economical, and technically feasible for the nuanced requirements of UK building stock.

A hybrid system would be an ideal option for projects looking to replace or upgrade their hot water system with a more energy efficient and cleaner solution. A hybrid system provides designers, property owners and managers with the familiarity of the continuous flow water heating system and renewable energy generated by a heat pump or solar thermal array.

Rinnai’s Hybrid solution features market leading technology owing to its ability to conserve energy. This is achieved by each unit reading the temperature of the preheated hot water and modulating the gas input to boost the required water temperature. This means that the renewable gains are maximised and the use of natural gas or hydrogen in the future is optimised without a loss of performance for critical building requirements like Legionella control.

To generate domestic hot water, the hybrid system will need to be accompanied by a storage vessel. This vessel is filled with preheated hot water that uses renewable energy as the primary heat source. As the commercial heat pump performance is seasonal, the property hot water requirement may be beyond the capability of the heat pump alone. This is why Rinnai continuous flow water heaters become necessary.

Consultants, specifiers, and contractors should seek manufacturers and suppliers with technology equipped with smart controls that monitor incoming water temperature and adjust accordingly. This ensures that the renewable heat generated is maximised and the only energy needed is to boost the temperature to the required set point by only using necessary power. This can become critically important for ensuring the temperature of anti-legionella regimes for applications that require hot water above 60 degrees constantly.

Progress in advancing NetZero requires clear, non-partisan direction regarding specific products, energy vectors and platforms. There is a societal need for all products and systems to be well designed and operate efficiently at low cost.

Heat pumps or solar thermal hybrid systems are the right product – in the specific circumstances of the site. Those circumstances also need the site to be accurately evaluated so that the correct size heat pump or solar array is deployed. Data driven load demands and seasonal adjustments must also be factored in. The aim to achieve Net Zero must be governed by maximising and optimising an entire system, no matter what type of building or property.

Rinnai can provide carbon and cost modelling on all varieties of buildings – the full data output includes capital cost, operational cost, carbon performance and complete product life cycle costs. Commercial property owners can view projected savings to be made in all areas of product purchase as well as carbon emissions.

For support with product selection, Rinnai is now offering a full design support service that encapsulates product performance and selection. For more information, contact Rinnai.

Hybrid technology, hydrogen, heat pumps and solar thermal offer reductions in purchase, operation, maintenance, and aggregated life cycle costs. The Rinnai H3 range is assisting in forming a new selection of energy options for UK customers, as current energy options will soon be phased out in favour of nationally sustainable carbon neutral choices.

Current UK Rinnai product ranges – both domestic and commercial – are ‘hydrogen blends ready’, meaning that units will accept the proposed 20% hydrogen/natural gas blend. Rinnai UK is one of the first manufacturers to display the I2HY20 gas category certificate for all its products.

Rinnai’s contribution to assisting the industry is the H3 initiative. This constitutes:

  • H1: Hydrogen, BioLPG – water heaters & boilers
  • H2: Hybrid Systems – Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal
  • H3: Heat Pumps – Low GWP

Find out more at www.rinnaiuk.com or head to stand 5C26 at InstallerSHOW.
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