Installation of a Kensa Shoebox ground source heat pump

Kensa Heat Pumps have succeeded in securing their full suite of 3kW to 15kW thermal output ground source heat pumps on the Energy Networks Association (ENA) heat pump 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 – enabling simpler, quicker and lower cost ground source heat pump installations.

Kensa Heat Pumps’ Technical Director and co-founder, Guy Cashmore, comments:

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: this scheme has now closed – please visit this page to explore other funding) 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 prompted electricity network operators to invest in their networks to ensure 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, enabling their installation without any 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 (this scheme has now closed) 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 continues:

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)

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 pumps and a live CoP efficiency display.

The Kensa ‘apply to connect’ model that meets the high technical standards of Connect & Notify approval, is:

Evo ground source heat pump (17kW)*

*The 17kW Evo is ‘apply to connect’ due to the C&N 32A power limit, but still meets the high technical standards of C&N approval (Class A limits of IEC 61000-3-2 and the Technical Requirements of IEC 61000-3-3). This means that any necessary electricity network upgrade costs will usually be met by the DNO
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