Viessmann’s ‘heating with ice system’ becomes a UK-first at ground-breaking HUF HAUS

Weybridge, UK - Viessmann, the leading international manufacturer of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems has collaborated with HUF HAUS, the market leader for contemporary post-and-beam architecture in Europe, to equip a UK residential property with first-of-its-kind technology.

Viessmann’s innovative ice store system, which recovers energy exclusively from renewable sources to heat or cool a building and to heat domestic hot water, has been installed as an integral part of a new phase of sustainable residential architecture being demonstrated at HUF HAUS’ first UK show home, at Brooklands near Weybridge in Surrey. The show home is open to the public from 19thSeptember 2015.

Drawing energy from ice to heat or cool a house would have sounded, not so long ago, like science fiction, but in recent years this process has become reality. Affordable, dependable, and easy to install, ice storage systems supply energy to heat pumps, to heat buildings and domestic hot water in winter and to cool them in summer.

The heat pump extracts energy, as needed throughout the year, from water stored in the ice store. As this energy is used, especially during the winter heating season, the temperature of the water in the ice store falls. If the temperature in the store falls to freezing point, additional energy is obtained from the freezing of the water - hence the term ice store.

Freezing is an exothermic process, meaning that as liquid changes to solid, crystallisation energy (latent heat) is released. This latent heat is retained in the ice store system. A standard 10 m³ ice store for a detached house generates a heat gain equivalent to about 100 litres of fuel oil and is capable of 10 kW of heating output. Because the amount of latent heat released is equivalent to that required for the inverse process of thawing, in effect there is 100% energy transfer and zero losses over time. 

A heat source management system integrated in the heat pump control unit is programmed to draw energy for heating from either the ice store system or a solar air absorber on the building’s roof. The ice store also draws energy from the surrounding ground, if the ground has a higher temperature, to regenerate heat in the ice store out of the winter heating period.

In summer the ice store can also be used to provide natural cooling for the building’s interior. Here, the water is allowed to fully turn to ice at the end of the heating season. Heat is then drawn from the heating system via an extraction heat exchanger and channeled into the ice store. This melts the ice and consequently cools the heating circuit within the home. 

Christian Engelke, Viessmann’s technical director, said: “We are very pleased that HUF HAUS has selected Viessmann’s sustainable ice store heating system for its UK show home, as part of the company’s efforts to achieve zero carbon efficiency. The technology is being installed in hundreds of homes and businesses in Germany each year, but in bringing the system to the UK for the first time, we are able to demonstrate to UK customers that our ‘heating with ice’ system is one answer that not only works in theory but is a very real and viable solution for responsible heating for the future.”

Peter Huf, Lead Architect for HUF HAUS, explains, “The new HUF show house is the first residential property in the UK to be fitted with heating with ice technology, and the innovation that underpins the system emulates the innovative approach to architecture for which HUF HAUS is renowned.

“As an evolution on from air source and ground source heat pumps, which demand the drilling of deep bore holes, heating with ice works with HUF technology to perpetuate an ambient internal temperature regardless of the weather outside, all the while using minimal energy. By extension, it also allows clients to adapt to ever changing temperatures and geological conditions for the long term.”

HUF HAUS has, throughout its history, been ground-breaking in its delivery of building design and engineering, pioneering technology ahead of building regulations. The company’s new show house in Weybridge is characterised by the expanse of glass synonymous with HUF HAUS architecture, utilising unparalleled insulation, airtightness and fabric efficiency to ensure the floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interiors with natural light without compromising energy efficiency. In addition to the ice storage system taking heating and cooling technologies to the next level, the house’s photovoltaic panels on the south-facing roof are guaranteed to generate more electricity than the house needs, allowing surplus energy credit to power an electric car at the electrical ‘fuelling’ station at the front of the house.

Extending to 428 sq m, the HUF house’s open plan six-bay accommodation includes a spacious kitchen, expansive sitting room, and a grand dining area located beneath the mezzanine level with roof-top windows. Upstairs, a luxurious master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, en suite bathroom and walk-through shower illustrate the quality finish that defines a HUF house, while two further bedrooms, with built-in bunk beds and en suites, show the ease with which the architects can tailor their designs.

About Viessmann Limited

Viessmann Limited is one of the
leading international manufacturers of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems. Viessmann’s comprehensive product range encompasses all fuel types and applications, allowing it to deliver high quality, efficient and fully integrated solutions. With an output range of 1.5 to 120,000 kW, Viessmann offers oil and gas-fired boilers, solar thermal and photovoltaics, combined heat and power modules (CHP), ground, air and water sourced heat pumps and biomass boilers. Viessmann is highly praised for its sustainability policies, which have seen it scoop many awards, including the most prestigious German Sustainability Award for "exemplary resource efficiency" in 2013.

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