Ecodan heat pump in disguise warms lemurs at Bristol Zoo

The lemurs at Bristol Zoo are enjoying a new enclosure that is being warmed by the latest Ecodan heat pump technology from Mitsubishi Electric. Earlier this year, installers Gregor Heating recommended an Ecodan PUHZ-W50VHA2 air-source heat pump to keep the space in the new 12m2enclosure at a cosy temperature for its residents.

Richard Blackmore of Gregor Heating explains the challenge: "The enclosure is fully insulated, which makes it perfect for the installation of heat pump technology. However, unlike a domestic installation, the animals must be kept at a constant heat of 22oC, and the system must have the capacity to increase this to 26oC in the event that the lemurs are unwell."

The Ecodan PUHZ-W50HA2 heat pump has the smallest capacity in the range, and the 5kW unit is perfect for this type of application as it operates with outside temperatures as low as -20oC.

An added challenge on this project was that the base of the lemur enclosure is three quarters of a metre deeper than the visible floor which is packed with wood chip to serve as the 'real' floor for the animals. The brief therefore was to find a solution that would heat the enclosure to the required temperature, and that would also be able to penetrate 750ml of insulation.

In order to ensure that inquisitive lemurs would not tamper with the heat pump, it was disguised using a foliage print added by Bristol-based specialists Hydrowrap. Gregor heating also installed a perimeter heating system - which ensures that the pipes are hidden by a specially installed 'skirting board' at the perimeter of the enclosure.

The integration of heat pump technology has allowed Bristol Zoo to meet the precise requirements of the lemur in a manner which is both controllable and energy efficient.

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