Decarbonisation With An Air Source Heat Pump

The Challenge

UCC was awarded a grant to pilot the decarbonisation of the O'Rahilly Building (ORB). To do this, they had to retrofit an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) into the 1990's building without significant intervention on the building fabric or existing heating system - a difficult job. The university's goal is to deliver a 51% overall carbon reduction by 2030.

Why OPNBuildings?

UCC needed a solution that could gather data from multiple systems; the BMS, standalone energy meters and wireless indoor temperature and air quality sensors. The university also needed to continuously monitor the heating system to ensure optimum efficiency and measure carbon reduction and comfort levels.

It was vital that this data could be shared with all parties – university management, the HEA and, importantly, the students and staff using the building.

The Results

UCC upgraded its BMS to a BACnet system. Smart pumps were installed with inbuilt heat meters. The heat pump was connected via BACnet to make its operating data visible.

The data received from OPNBuildings is used to monitor heating system performance, building comfort levels and energy and carbon savings. UCC can share reports with key stakeholders, including the HEA (Higher Education Authority). The data is shared with staff and students on a dashboard in the ORB lobby.

Client Feedback

"The challenge is that you simply cannot drop a heat pump into a heating system designed for boilers and expect it to immediately work well. The OPNBuildings platform helped us to tune and optimise the heat pump as well as monitor the overall heating system and building performance. It also allows us to measure and share key data, such as carbon savings. The university is now well on its way to achieving the carbon reduction goal of 51% by 2030."

- Pat Mehigan Energy and Utilities Manager