SANYO Air Conditioners has supplied a state-of-the-art carbon dioxide-based heating system for a pioneering Eco House to help train the next generation of engineers.
The three-storey super-insulated building, sited at Petroc's Barnstaple campus, is designed to showcase working examples of the latest technology for harnessing high efficiency and renewable energy sources.
It will be used as a demonstration facility to train field engineers in the principles of heat pumps and safe installation and maintenance practices. It will also be used for courses and workshops to educate architects and local authority decision makers about the benefits of heat pump technology.
Graham Wright, who heads up SANYO's heating division, said: 'We are delighted to be supporting the Eco House initiative. We believe it is vital to provide specialist training to ensure installers are fully up-to-speed with the unique aspects of the carbon dioxide-based technology. Although based on a vapour compression cycle, there are distinctive aspects to the design and application that must be understood in order to get the best out of it.'
He added: 'This is why we have made it a requirement for engineers to attend and successfully complete one of our carbon dioxide heat pump training courses before being entitled to install or service the system.'
Linked to the Eco House is a new environmental technologies centre which includes examples of carbon dioxide and conventional HFC-based heat pumps, solar thermal hot water, photovoltaic systems and under floor heating.
The SANYO CO2 ECO heat pump is being used in conjunction with solar collectors to provide low cost hot water to radiators serving the two lower storeys of the building.
The company is also providing a high efficiency SANYO multi-split heat pump air conditioning system for cooling and heating the top floor of the Eco House, where workshops and lectures take place.
Industry trainer Martin Hook is heading up the heat pump training and technology awareness workshops at the centre.
Martin Hook said: 'It's a tremendous facility and a great initiative by the college. Heat pumps have a vital role to play in delivering the low carbon, high efficiency heating and cooling we need for buildings in the future.'
Edwina Stevenson, head of Curriculum Development at the School of Architecture, Construction and the Built Environment at Petroc, said: 'The ECO House has generated great interest since being opened earlier this year. Several hundred people attended our open day - including senior people from local authorities and architects, as well as local school children.'
The ECO House was donated to the college by local company G. Loosemore and Son. The Barnstaple-based developer originally built the structure as part of its exhibition presence at Interbuild at the NEC. It has now erected the centre at the college site under a five-year planning approval.
The company is working with the college to promote knowledge of heat pumps and other sustainable building technologies as part of its goal of establishing an eco housing development of up to 400 high efficiency new homes in the area.