The Alpha Innotec heat pump, the Hybrox 11/16, which uses R290
The Alpha Innotec Hybrox 16 installed at a home in Germany. Photo credit: Alpha Innotec.

Alpha Innotec Releases New R290 Heat Pumps for Multi-Family Buildings and Large Homes

The air-to-water heat pumps come in 11 and 16kW models and extend the company’s existing Hybrox lineup.

Germany-based ait-group has announced the expansion of its propane (R290) Hybrox air-to-water heat pump lineup with new 11 and 16kW (3.1 and 4.5TR) models designed for use in new and renovated multi-family buildings and large homes.

The Hybrox series, which is sold under the Alpha Innotec brand, provides buildings with heating, cooling and domestic hot water (DHW). Previously, the Hybrox lineup featured 5 and 8kW (1.4 and 2.3TR) models, both of which use R290.

“With the Hybrox 11 and 16, we are expanding our product portfolio with heat pumps that are optimal for renovation and modernization ‒ one of the fastest-growing market segments,” said Sjacco van de Sande, Managing Director at aitgroup.

Alpha Innotec attributes the flow temperature of up to 78°C (172.4°F) of the Hybrox 11 and 16 to a “unique combination of high-performance components” and R290 refrigerant. By contrast, the 5 and 8kW models provide flow temperatures up to 70°C (158°F).

Regarding cold weather performance, the manufacturer noted that a flow temperature of 65°C (149°F) is available in ambient conditions down to −22°C (−7.6°F) without the inclusion of additional heating elements.

The Hybrox 11 offers a total refrigeration capacity of 11kW, with a heating capacity of 7kW (2TR), a cooling capacity of 4kW (1.1) and a COP range from 4.3 to 5.2.

The Hybrox 16 offers a total refrigeration capacity of 16kW, with a heating capacity of 10.4kW (3TR), a cooling capacity of 6.2kW (1.8TR) and a COP range from 4.1 to 5.3.

Europe has recently seen a surge in R290 heat pump development, specifically residential monobloc units like the Hybrox. HVAC&R heavyweights such as Daikin have announced new R290 residential heat pumps for the market, with startups like Sweden’s Aira also entering the mix.

Design considerations

The Hybrox 11 and 16 have a monobloc design, which ait-group describes as “modern.” The OEM also said that the heat pumps have been “sound optimized” for installation in dense building spaces. Along with the look and noise level, ait-group also took energy use into account when designing the Hybrox 11 and 16.

“With the introduction of the new Hybrox devices, all new heat pumps from Alpha Innotec are now smart grid-ready and can be remotely controlled,” ait-group said. The units are compatible with BACnet (building automation and control networks) and Modbus TCP (transmission control protocol).

“With the Hybrox 11 and 16, we are expanding our product portfolio with heat pumps that are optimal for renovation and modernization ‒ one of the fastest-growing market segments.”

Sjacco van de Sande, Managing Director at aitgroup

Real-world performance

Alpha Innotec has examples of the real-world performance of the Hybrox 11 and 16 on its website, which features case studies of home installations completed in Germany.

Using the existing underfloor heating, a Hybrox 16 heat pump replaced the original oil heater In a home in Untersteinach, Bavaria, built in 1989. The Hybrox 16 handles the home’s heating and DHW needs. “In January 2024, when temperatures reached as low as −13°C (8.6°F), the system achieved a COP of 3.8,” Alpha Innotec said.

In a home in Helmbrechts, Bavaria, built in 1954 and previously modified with underfloor heating, a Hybrox 16 replaced a 20-year-old oil-fired combined heat and power system. The heat pump handles the house’s heating and hot water preparation needs. “The replacement was quick and uncomplicated, with the [heat pump] successfully coping with −15°C [5°F] outside temperatures without any loss of heating in the rooms,” the manufacturer said.

The owner of a home in Thurnau, Bavaria, that dates back to 1500 replaced his oil heating system with a Hybrox 11 that handles DHW and space heating. “With the new heat pump, we have now reached another milestone and made the old building fit for the future,” the homeowner told Alpha Innotec.

Ait-group is part of the Swedish NIBE Group, a producer of air-to-water, ground source and exhaust air heat pumps. Founded in 1998, Alpha Innotec, headquartered in Kasendorf, Bavaria, has worked with R290 for more than 25 years.

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