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Haier MRV heat pump systems give new life to former church

Eight Haier MRV air-to-air heat pump systems have been installed at a former church transformed into an extension to a health centre. The project which includes air conditioning, underfloor heating and heat recovery, is unusual for the fact that the outdoor units have been placed inside the building.

Sustainability is a key theme at the former Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on the Rijksweg-Noord in the city of Geleen in the Netherlands. The church which had been empty for more than 20 years has retained its old altar, beautiful stained glass windows and wall paintings. With its new purpose the building will also house a doctors’ surgery, pharmacy and offer physiotherapy and neighbourhood care services with a newly-built first floor.

The installers, VAL Vastgoed BV Maastricht, opted for a combination of underfloor heating, heat recovery and ventilation. Four Haier MRV air-to-air heat pump units for underfloor heating and four Haier MRV air-to-air heat pump systems for cooling and additional heating have been installed.

The supplier was building services wholesaler WASCO. The company’s technical advisor Jan Van Zwolle said: “The underfloor heating provides the basis of the heating requirements to about 19°C. It gets the heat through the energy from outside converted into hot water. A 3-pipe VRF system provides cooling and additional heating requirements. This makes it possible to cool one room while you work in another with the heating on. This is important for a health centre offering different services and activities – and allows everyone to operate in their ideal climates.”

The design and implementation of the installation at the former church raised other challenges. Project leader at VAL Vastgoed, Dave Nolle, said: “The outdoor units could not be in sight and there was little space outside. In addition, noise levels had to be kept low as there were 20 houses nearby.”

So it was decided to place all the outdoor units indoors on a newly-built second floor. Jan explained: “If you use an outdoor unit of an air-to-air heat pump system inside, you have to arrange a number of things. First of all you need to make sure that the device has fresh air – so we connected a duct to the Haier MRV outdoor units. In addition, defrost during heating produces a large amount of condensation. A basin has been added to catch the water and underfloor heating may also be added to ensure that the water does not freeze during the winter.”

The lack of ceilings in the former church also presented a challenge. Behind the altar is a new meeting room but because the former church has been nominated to be a national monument a requirement of this is that its murals remain in view. Jan added: “That’s why there is no ceiling and you would usually choose to situate the indoor units and piping above a ceiling. So instead we installed Haier Console indoor units.”

The flexible and highly efficient MRV offers a complete VRF solution for a wide range of applications where big comfort cooling and heating is needed making it ideal for offices, shops, hotels, health and education facilities.

The MRV works for all applications with the range offering 10kW to 33kW capacities in a tombstone style outdoor unit and up to 300m pipe runs. The MRV5 range offers 22kW to 63kW in single modules and combinations up to 252kW with 1000m pipe runs for larger projects. All these units can be connected to a vast variety of indoor units as well as AHU ventilation units, together offering a totally flexible system. 

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