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The innovative heat pump boiler to double energy efficiency in heat generation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - APACHE (The innovative heat pump boiler to double energy efficiency in heat generation)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-02-28

Improving the energy performance of buildings is a key factor in securing the transition to a ‘green’ resource efficient economy and in achieving the EU Climate & Energy objectives. Heating, domestic hot water, and cooling demand today is responsible for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption, it accounts for 13% of oil consumption and 59% of total EU gas consumption (direct use only); which equates to 68% of all gas imports. Space heating makes still the biggest share (62%), while cooling needs altogether consume 19% of the overall heating and cooling needs. However, a large part of this energy is wasted because 1) almost half of the EU's buildings have boilers installed before 1992 with an efficiency rate of below 60% and 2) 22% of gas boilers, 34% of direct electric heaters, 47% of oil boilers, and 58% of coal boilers are older than their technical lifetime (20-25 years).
In this market scene, boostHEAT has created a new generation of heat generator, the thermodynamic heat pump boiler, through a major innovation in gas combustion utilization. The core of this achievement is a novel and disruptive thermal compressor as part of a thermodynamic heat pump boiler, which is used to increase the efficiency of the heating cycle (up to 200% SGUE) utilizing the gas combustion to activate a high temperature compression cycle rather than directly power the heaters. The thermal compressor activates a heat pump cycle to produce hot water for heating and domestic hot water. The thermal compressor can also activate a heat pump cycle to produce cold water for cooling. As certified by CRIGEN laboratory, performance of our thermodynamic heat pump boilers can double that of the best condensing boilers (50% less energy consumption and 50% less GHG emissions) and is financially competitive with the most efficient (up to 125%) electric heat pumps.
The major benefit to our end customers is that, APACHE heat pump boilers will offer them significant cost savings in energy consumption delivering all other advantages such as very high efficiency (up to 200% SGUE) at the most competitive cost (payback time between 3 and 6 years) as well as more comfortable homes and working spaces, and very low maintenance.
The APACHE heat pump boilers are at a technology readiness level (TRL) 6 stage of development. The overall aim of the project is to take the technology to TRL9 and to market launch our solution in compliance with EU Directives and relevant standard series for heat generators.
Work executed during the reporting period, from November 2016 to February 2017, has been completed to cover the tasks below and assess the technical, commercial, and financial viability of APACHE:
- Task 1: Preparation of the technical viability plan for the APACHE project to set the activities to be done during Phase II and the resources required to bring to TRL9 and commercialize the heat pump boiler APACHE-C (line for commercial buildings). This includes the optimization of the design of the thermal compressor, fabricate and test a new prototype to validate design and demonstrate end customers (through pilot demos) APACHE performance and competitive advantages. We have defined a test plan and established initial contact with certification bodies for the certification of APACHE with EU Directives as well as performed a component cost review to estimate the manufacturing cost at industrial scale. We have also carried out an in depth evaluation of the technical project risks and formulated mitigation and contingency plans.
- Task 2: A complete commercialization plan that comprises a thorough research of APACHE target market analysing the EU building market and energy efficient building industry, in particular the HVAC products, and the gas boiler scene in France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland including renovation, policies, supporting measures, and legislation. We have carried out an in depth evaluation of the commercial project risks and formulated mitigation and contingency plans. This market study also includes an analysis of competing solutions, showing evidences of APACHE uniqueness and affordability in the target markets while emphasizing its competitive advantages. We have identified potential partners (suppliers of components, notified bodies, energy service companies (ESCOs), and distributors) across the supply chain to produce and distribute our turbines to the end customer. Finally, a deep intellectual property and regulations analysis have been performed to assess APACHE freedom-to-operate status and the need to comply with regulations of the sector.
- Task 3: The financial plan of the APACHE project set the business margins for entering the energy efficient market for heating & cooling focused on the building sector and a forecast of sales and benefits until 2023. And finally, we have carried out an in-depth evaluation of the financial project risks and formulated mitigation and contingency plans.
APACHE is a new generation of heat generator developed by boostHEAT to satisfy the heating and hot water demand of the building sector creating smart and more comfortable homes and working spaces for millions of people worldwide as well as meet the demands of tomorrow (EU Directives). With APACHE, boostHEAT offers its customers a natural gas heat pump boiler of very high-energy efficiency doubling that of the best condensing boilers while emitting less greenhouse gases (50% less energy consumption and 50% less GHG emissions) and being financially competitive with the most efficient (up to 125%) electric heat pumps.
Countries such as Germany and the UK (with the largest number of natural gas boilers installed) as well as Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland will be our priority markets due to market size, age of the boiler stock (almost 22% of a total of 80 million boilers have been installed in buildings before 1992 having already fulfilled in 2017 their technical lifetime (25 years)), and environmental concerns of end customers (over 85% of the total boilers are the older less efficient variety).
boostHEAT has established a twofold strategy for the market launch of APACHE with the development of two lines of products: 1) APACHE-R: with 20kW output for use in the residential sector (ca. 70kWh/m2 of space heating needs) for new home construction (ca. 1% market growth), home renovation (75% of the total stock in Europe, ca. 19bnm2 of useful floor area), and replacement installations (which accounts more than 80% of the total annual sales) and 2) APACHE-C: for ratings from 50kW to 250kW for installation in commercial buildings (with ca. 6bnm2 floor space, 145kWh/m2 space heating demand, and energy efficiency retrofit rates of 1-2% of the stock per annum).