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Heat pump hybrids as the ideal solution for the energy transition in existing buildings

Away from conventional fossil-based energy technologies, towards more sustainability in the building sector: energy-efficient refurbishment has been on everyone's lips for a long time, and the building stock plays a decisive role in achieving climate targets. The choice of heat generator raises many questions, especially concerning the refurbishment of older buildings: Does the installation of a heat pump in a building make sense? Are current political demands accompanied by costly renovation measures for existing buildings? Are there low-cost or readily available alternatives? The answer: There is more than one way to a sustainable building sector - the energy turnaround works above all for existing buildings with heat pump hybrids.

Reliable and renewable: heat pump hybrids

The heat pump is the ideal solution for new or renovated buildings. However, high demands on the building's condition and equipment often result in high refurbishment costs when it comes to older buildings. Not everyone can afford this renovation immediately, and it takes many years before the use of renewable energy technology finally pays off. Heating renovation in existing buildings becomes more affordable and yet climate-friendly if the heat pump is combined with a gas or oil-condensing boiler. The highlight: correctly dimensioned and operated, a heat pump hybrid covers up to 80 percent of the heating demand via the heat pump alone. The heating output of the gas or oil condensing boiler serves mainly as a backup at low outdoor temperatures.

Boilers from Buderus or Bosch are also a reliable choice in the event of a heating disaster, i.e. the failure of the heating system and the need for immediate replacement. Current boilers are prepared to be upgraded to heat pump hybrids later. This spreads the purchase costs over several years.

Further measures on the building envelope can follow the installation of a heat pump hybrid. These renovation measures ensure that the total energy demand of the building is significantly reduced and the heat pump share in the hybrid increases further.

Heat pump hybrids combine the performance and reliability of a proven heat generator with the sustainability potential of renewable energies. Heat pump hybrids enable an affordable changeover to a climate-friendly heat supply, especially in existing buildings. The system consists of a smaller heat pump outdoor unit, the boiler, and the hybrid box. The hybrid box sensibly controls when which heat generator supplies the required heat.

In the future, it is also conceivable to operate heat pump hybrids completely CO2-free if sufficient green hydrogen is available.

Advantages of a heat pump hybrid

An efficient heat pump hybrid starts with the common control technology. In the latest heat pump hybrids, the heat pump is connected to the boiler both electrically and hydraulically. The joint control is then carried out via the condensing boiler. The installation of an additional heat pump indoor unit is therefore not necessary. Once the heat pump hybrid is in operation, the heat pump takes over up to 80 percent of the heat supply. If the outside temperature drops below five degrees Celsius and the necessary flow temperatures are no longer covered by the heat pump, the heat pump hybrid switches to the condensing component. While the heat pump hybrid is thus mainly powered by energy from the environment, it also has a safe and powerful backup.