‘No more DNO hassle’ says Kensa Heat Pumps with Connect & Notify approvals

  • 26 Feb 2020

Kensa Heat Pumps has succeeded in securing its full suite of 3kW to 13kW thermal output single phase ground source heat pumps on the Energy Networks Association (ENA) Connect & Notify database.

The move means British-based manufacturer Kensa has the largest number of ENA Connect & Notify approved ground source heat pump products in the UK – over 60% of the ENA single phase database – allowing for simpler, quicker and lower cost ground source heat pump installations. 

Kensa Heat Pumps’ Technical Director and co-founder, Guy Cashmore, commented: “Installers of heat pumps will be familiar with the complications, hassle and potential additional costs of a heat pump not being ENA Connect & Notify approved.

“Meantime, homeowners may not be aware that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) requires evidence of District Network Operator (DNO) ENA approval.

“For heat pumps which are not Connect & Notify approved, this approval process could cost the homeowner thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of pounds, along with substantial delays.

“Kensa’s significant Connect & Notify status eliminates these additional cost risks for the consumer and hassle for installers; this is a fantastic opportunity for the UK’s adoption of ground source heat pumps.”

The UK’s strategy for the decarbonisation and electrification of heat with heat pumps has resulted in electricity network operators investing in their networks, to guarantee capacity, safety, and asset lifetime.

Many low carbon pathway predictions suggest a significant increase in heat pump deployment to achieve the UK’s carbon reduction targets – Scottish Power suggest 22 million heat pumps by 2035.

As electrically driven technology, the mass electrification of heat with heat pumps will inevitably have an impact on the electricity grid; the ENA Connect & Notify approval identifies Kensa’s Evo and Shoebox ground source heat pump ranges to be of low grid impact, allowing for installation, with no prior approval requirement from local DNOs.

Connect & Notify approved heat pumps are deemed to be suited to DNO electricity supplies without the requirement for upgrades.

Should, in rare instances, an upgrade be necessary, the DNO is obliged to supply this at their cost, the opposite is the case for non-Connect & Notify heat pumps, where the consumer is required to pay any upgrade costs.

For installers, the consequence of non-Connect & Notify heat pumps requires an application for DNO permission prior to installation and connection, creating delays and approval uncertainty, and therefore also RHI uncertainty.

The DNO decision takes into account how robust the electricity supply is at the installation location and the anticipated demand of the heat pump system on the electricity supply.

If a DNO deems a supply upgrade is necessary, this is usually chargeable and can be very costly. Being on Connect & Notify eliminates the possibility of these charges and removes any delay while permission is obtained.

To achieve ENA Connect & Notify status requires compliance with a strict set of standards limiting the maximum electricity demand of the heat pump.

Guy added: “Units with internal boosts and immersion heaters are at an immediate disadvantage as most will exceed the demand limit.

“Larger capacity units with inverters can fall foul of harmonics limits; units without inverters produce very little harmonics – all of Kensa’s products are fixed speed compressor driven.

“Starting current is also naturally a common ENA issue for other heat pump manufacturers, whereas all of Kensa’s ground source heat pumps meet starting current limits.”

The Kensa ground source heat pump models approved as Connect & Notify on the ENA Database are

 – Shoebox ground source heat pump series (3kW, 6kW)

 – Evo ground source heat pump series (7kW, 9kW, 13kW, three phase 15kW pending*)

Kensa’s tiny Shoebox heat pump series is designed to be installed in a cupboard, and is experiencing wide-scale installation utilising Kensa’s shared ground loop array design, a form of district heating.

The Evo heat pump series is Kensa’s most recent innovation, featuring the first dedicated system controller for ground source heat pumpsand a live CoP efficiency display.

*The Kensa Evo three phase 15kW was pending approval at 14 February 2020

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