Production efficiency of hot water for domestic use
This paper examines the efficiency (in terms of energy use and carbon emissions) with which 5 different types of domestic water heating system employed in the UK are able to produce hot water for sanitary use. A method of normalisation is employed allowing results from case studies with different systems and usage levels to be compared. Water heating appliances studied include gas boilers, a micro CHP, heat pumps, an immersion heater, and a solar thermal system. It is found that instantaneous production of hot water is much more efficient than delivery via tank storage for gas-fuelled systems. For electrical systems, an immersion heater is found to perform better in some circumstances than heat pumps and also has advantages when combined with a solar thermal system leading to the proposal that this combination offers the most potential as a low carbon method for domestic hot water provision in the long term. Opportunities are identified to improve the performance of all systems with storage through better control of heat inputs. Inconsistencies in, and problems of compliance with, established standards for mitigation of Legionella in hot water systems are also identified.
Citation:Boait, P.J., Fan, D., Stafford, A. and Dixon, D. (2012) Production efficiency of hot water for domestic use. Energy and Buildings, 54 pp. 160-168
Research Group:Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development