Pioneering heat pump immortalised as Science Museum exhibit

Credit: Kensa Group Media Centre

A heat pump that pioneered the technology’s use in residential tower blocks has been ‘immortalised’ by its addition to the Science Museum’s collection of historic artefacts.

Kensa’s Shoebox Heat Pump is credited with making affordable renewable heating in high-rise flats a reality following its introduction in 2012.

The device is said to have changed the way people see ground source heat pumps, and its inclusion in the Science Museum Group’s collection certainly adds weight to claims it is a UK pioneer of green heating.

Kensa’s ‘little white box’, which the company claims is responsible for around a third of all UK ground source heat pump installations, is the first and only ground source heat pump to be included in the collection.

It has joined over seven million historic and significant items collected and documented by the Science Museum Group since 1851.

In addition to being immortalised in the museum’s collection, the compact heat pump will be on display to the public as part of the Science Museum’s new Adani Green Energy Gallery, where it will rub shoulders with other trailblazing energy transition products, such as the historic Bersey electric taxi cab, and one of the world’s first rechargeable batteries.

Oliver Carpenter, the Science Museum’s lead curator, said: “This gallery shares contemporary stories of individuals, organisations and communities all imagining the future of low carbon energy, but it also spotlights some of the earliest ideas and technologies created by the imaginations of previous generations.

“By taking a long view of the energy revolution and showcasing impressive technologies of the past, alongside today’s low carbon options, we hope to inspire visitors to imagine a low carbon energy future.”

First launched in 2012, Shoebox heat pumps currently deliver green heat to thousands of homes, and Kensa says it has helped lift numerous people out of fuel poverty. They were also a driving force in the development of Kensa’s Networked Ground Source Heat Pump model, a sustainable heating solution, claimed to be set to play a crucial role in the mass decarbonisation of UK homes and businesses.

As the Shoebox secured its place in history, the British manufacturer launched its successor, the Shoebox NX.

Kensa’s Shoebox heat pump on display at the Science Museum. Credit: Kensa Group Media Centre

Tamsin Lishman, chief executive of Kensa Heat Pumps, said: “Street by street, Kensa is cleaning up heating across the UK, bringing ground source heat pumps to flats, terraced streets, tower blocks, period properties, and other supposedly hard-to-decarbonise homes and buildings, taking people out of fuel poverty, and making homes warm and comfortable through renewable technology.

“From heating tower blocks to terraces and new builds, the Shoebox is responsible for so much. Seeing our ‘little white box’ featured in this exhibition and immortalised in the Science Museum collection as a green heating pioneer is a remarkable achievement, but one this incredible product fully deserves.

“The Shoebox set the course for networked ground source heat pumps, and through the game-changing Shoebox NX we will build on this legacy and supercharge the switch to ground source heat pumps, delivering highly efficient, affordable green heating and cooling right across the UK.”

Main image: Shoebox in the Science Museum. (Left to right) Kensa chief executive, Tamsin Lishman, Kensa technical director Dan Roberts, with Tomas Roberto and Richard Warren, both Kensa. Credit: Kensa Group Media Centre

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