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Low Carbon Ready

HyCompact

We are working collaboratively with gas network Wales & West Utilities to trial new hybrid heating systems which lower carbon emissions.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/08/2020
End date: 01/07/2021
Budget: £461,217

Finding effective low-carbon heating solutions for buildings is one of the biggest challenges in reducing emissions across the energy system to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Domestic energy use is responsible for more than a quarter of national greenhouse gas emissions and as much as 75% of household energy is used for space and water heating.

Hybrid heating systems – which use an electric heat pump alongside a traditional gas boiler – are one potential solution to lower some of the carbon produced through heating.

We are working collaboratively with gas network Wales & West Utilities and technology partner PassivSystems to trial seven single-unit hybrid heating systems in participants’ homes. Once installed, we’ll monitor their performance very closely to establish full operational data, assess the network impacts and explore flexibility opportunities. We’ll also be checking in with the participants to learn more about their experience and improve their customer journey.

The units are a new type of system which combines a gas boiler, an electric air-source heat pump and smart control software into a single unit. They can be hung on the walls of customers’ homes in place of a conventional gas boiler and switch between using gas and electricity based on their relative cost and carbon emissions.

The HyCompact trial is a follow-on to the Freedom project previously undertaken by Wales & West Utilities in which hybrid heating systems, comprising a standalone gas boiler and an external air-source heat pump, were tested in 75 homes in Bridgend in South Wales.

This is an exciting project which gives us the opportunity to share learnings across two different industries – gas and electricity. The challenge of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 is only going to be met through true whole-system trials and collaborations.

This project will help us gather crucial data and insight into the potential network impact of the devices and allow us to create the best possible customer proposition for a hybrid transition.


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