Mitsubishi's Ecodan heat pump to be made in Scotland
Mitsubishi Electric is starting production of its Ecodan residential heating system at its manufacturing plant in Livingston, Scotland.
Ecodan is an air source heat pump offering residential heating and hot water and Mitsubishi Electric has invested in new testing facilities at the Livingston plant to show the heating and hot water system works down to outdoor temperatures of -30ºC.
Manufacturing will begin in mid-September and the company is hoping to recruit more staff later in the year to cope with expected growth in sales of Ecodan.
The Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe (M-ACE) site on Scotland's Houston Industrial Estate was built by the firm in 1994 and employs 420 staff.
M-ACE has manufactured air conditioning units for the company's global market and will adapt a production line to produce 3,000 Ecodan units a year for both the UK and Europe.
'Although Ecodan is not an air conditioning unit, it shares much of the technology with our current Mr Slim models which are made in Livingston, so we are able to switch production with relative ease,' said Yoshinori Miyata, general manager, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems division of Mitsubishi Electric.
Miyata added: 'We will be looking to increase production to 10,000 units a year as demand increases.'
'Since launching Ecodan just over a year ago, we have been delighted with the level of interest from installation professionals, housebuilders, housing associations and end users,' said John Kellett, general manager of the company's heating department.
Mitsubishi Electric now has over 270 Approved Ecodan Installers throughout the UK.
Ecodan harvests renewable energy from the surrounding air so that for every 1kW of electricity it consumes, 3kW or more of heating energy is supplied. The company says it can deliver efficiency levels that are 200% greater than a gas condensing boiler. Ecodan is accredited under the government's Microgeneration Scheme, making it eligible for a £900 installation grant.
Kellett added: 'As more people realise how much air source heat pumps can help lower both running costs and energy use, we expect to see the uptake increase significantly. We are also hopeful that once the housing market starts to move again, Ecodan will play a major part in both the new-built and refurbishment sectors.'
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: 'As part of our commitment to developing a sustainable, low carbon economy we are working with UK businesses to promote the UK as the destination of choice for low carbon investment. Together with Mitsubishi Electric we can offer our knowledge, technology and experience to bring about incremental and sizeable reductions in carbon emissions.'
22 July 2009