Predictor Software Revolutionizes HP Performance Data

Nu-Heat Senior Development Engineer Richard Champernowne has recently completed a software project that facilitates precise evaluation of heat pump performance to ensure that the right heat pump is offered at quotation stage. 

Published data from manufacturers is given in many diverse formats, making it difficult to compare the performance of different models. Predictor takes this data into a common platform, so performance levels of any model of any make can be compared easily.

For an individual property, once heat loss has been assessed (through SAP or Nu-Heat’s Optimiser software), Predictor runs a simulation of performance over an average year, based on local monthly weather data from the Met Office and taking account of the changing seasons.

Predictor uses the daily temperature cycle for the simulations (represented in steps of 1°C and times of day in steps of 4 hours) meaning that it includes cold nights and warm days, unlike other simulation programmes that look at average temperature for a day and ignore the fact that the heat pump has to respond to increases and decreases in temperature.  

Predictor also takes account of the timing of domestic hot water requirements which can have a major effect on the performance levels of the heat pump. For example, heating hot water in the evening when the heat pump has to work harder anyway will have an impact on energy efficiency. The software helps to work out what time is best to heat the water, indicates what tariff is best to run the heat pump on and produces comparisons with other fuel options such as gas and oil.  

Each simulation takes approximately one minute to process one year’s performance. It is an ideal tool for Nu-Heat to choose the right heat pump for any domestic property in the UK. Outputs include graphs of monthly electricity consumption or the implications of colder than average weather conditions.

When a heat pump is being integrated with underfloor heating, Predictor is used a second time, once the underfloor heating design is completed. It uses the more accurate design data then available to double check that the heat pump chosen is still appropriate.

Additionally, Predictor’s simulations can also be used to generate the commissioning procedure. This helps to set up the parameters of the heat pump and should also aid economy by facilitating more precise settings.

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