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WP3.4 Next generation gas/heat powered heat pump

Prof. Critoph (University of Warwick)


Present gas heat pumps either marketed or under development are competitive or better than present electric heat pumps in terms of CO2 emissions within the present UK energy supply network and use 30% less fuel than condensing boilers. However, the fundamental thermodynamics implies that with new advanced cycles, novel materials and enhanced heat transfer it would be feasible to increase heating COPs (Heat out/Heat in for a heat driven system) by at least 50% (2.0 in typical application). Investigation of ad/absorption with multiple effect cycles, enhanced sorption and conductivity, chemical reaction based systems will reveal whether such concepts will be viable in the longer term.


Achieving high efficiency combined with both compact size and realistic manufacturing methods/costs, all of which are necessary for consumer/market acceptance.


Characterisation of new sorbents, sorption dynamics, cycle simulations, culminating in laboratory PoC tests. Market assessment, integration, Life Cycle Assessment and achievable CO2 reduction potential.

Carbon reduction potential

Present technology can deliver a 35% reduction in gas consumption compared to a condensing boiler and the next generation could offer at least a 50% reduction. The commercial target is the 1.5 million p.a. replacement boiler market, and initially the 450,000 p.a. non-combi market. At an average present consumption equivalent to 3tCO2 per year cumulative savings in the medium term will be well into the Mt range.

Other applications of fundamental technology

Waste heat or solar heat powered air conditioning, vehicle air conditioning (including electric vehicle heating and cooling).

Pathway to Impact

Through partners such as British Gas, National Grid, a number of multinational gas boiler manufacturers, housing associations, IEA Annex on Thermally Driven Heat Pumps.