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27th January 2022 - back to news index

Mitsubishi Invests with Confidence in Low Carbon Heat Pumps

The COP26 International Climate Change conference provided an excellent opportunity for the HVAC industry to demonstrate its newest environmentally-friendly technologies, and for governments and the private sector to show commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Low Carbon Heat Pumps will play a major role in changes essential to improving our environmental record. They can use low GWP (Global Warming Potential) fuels to provide heating, ventilation and refrigeration in commercial, industrial and domestic settings, moving away from fossil fuels.

Mitsubishi is one company taking up this challenge, having announced it will invest £15.3 million to optimise manufacture and development of low carbon heat pumps and other solutions. Additionally, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Scottish Enterprise, which will provide a further £1.8 million in grant funding to protect jobs and create a centre of excellence at Mitsubishi's Scottish manufacturing site in Livingston, which is currently producing both ground and air source heat pumps.

Heat pump technology is relatively simple. A fan in the heat pump draws in air, which warms the refrigerant inside which, at low temperature, turns to gas. This gas is then compressed, releasing heat to the system before it is condensed back into liquid, which passes through an expansion valve before absorbing and passing along the heat.

Low-carbon heat pumps can be used to replace natural gas boilers, still in use in most UK domestic heating. When completed, this will significantly reduce fossil fuel use and its accompanying emissions. As a spokesperson for Mitsubishi stated, they will "create world-leading products that reduce their overall environmental impact, while delivering renewable energy that is urgently required for meeting environmental goals and achieving net zero status."

To achieve this aim, Mitsubishi will create a "smart factory", so their production processes will also be low GWP. It will include automation and robotic equipment, advanced sensing systems providing real-time information, and advanced digital skills training for employees.

As an additional incentive towards this change, the UK government will be funding grants of up to £5,000 to support heat pump adoption in 30,000 homes by 2025.

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