Heat Pump Systems Designer: Pilot Course

Organiser: University of Exeter

Help shape the future of heat pump systems design by getting involved in this exciting new pilot course.

At present, there is no clear training or certification route to qualify as a professional Heat Pump Systems Designer. Through the ESF Innnovation in Higher Level Skills (IHLS) project, the University of Exeter is developing a new course which aims to meet the needs of designers looking for specific training and instruction on this topic.

We have been working in collaboration with businesses and relevant organisations (including the HPA, GSHPA, MCS, and CIBSE) to identify the scope, content and delivery style and we are excited to be able to share the development of the new course with you.

The course represents an exciting opportunity to join with other like-minded individuals to develop your knowledge and understanding of the design elements and challenges of heat pump systems and to help us design a course which truly meets the needs of the sector. We will be testing a range of materials and teaching resources both on and offline, and sessions will be interactive and dynamic.


The initial pilot consists of four sessions, as follows:

Wednesday, January 27th, 3 – 5pm

Session 1: Introduction to heat pump systems

This session will cover the fundamental principles of how heat pumps work, including the underlying thermodynamic concepts, factors affecting performance and optimisation. We will look at both ground and air source systems, provide guidance for selecting the most appropriate technology type and touch upon system efficiencies and sizing.

Wednesday, February 10th, 3-5 pm

Session 2: Heat Pump Variations and Performance Optimisation

This session will look in more detail at different types of heat pump systems and their components. We will touch on seasonal performance factors and how these may impact on the most appropriate solution for a property.

Wednesday, February 24th, 3 – 5pm

Session 3: System Design, Part 1

This session will introduce simple heat loss calculations and the various tools available to assist with these, including room based calculations and air change rates within highly insulated properties. We will cover various distribution systems and the calculations used to specify the most appropriate size system for an individual property. We take into account the effect of insulation and different distribution systems on performance.

Wednesday, March 10th, 3 – 5pm

Session 4: System Design, Part 2

This session will cover ground array design, including: borehole sizing, options for piping, open vs closed loop systems and heat exchanger specification. We will introduce hydraulic calculations and pressure loss within the system, including pipe sizing and turbulence limits.

Material will be prepared and presented by University of Exeter experts in renewable energy, including Dr Richard Cochrane, Dr Justin Hinshelwood and Rob Gurnett, and industry specialists, including Robin Curtis (Geoscience) and Paul Leedham (Matrix Energy Systems).

We hope to be able to offer further sessions as the course develops and in response to business feedback. In addition to the sessions above, registration on the pilot course will provide access to a suite of resources and recordings of the sessions will be made available following the event.

Organiser University of Exeter
Organiser email
Twitter #hashtag #ihls
Event location

University Campus Penryn
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE
United Kingdom