Heat pump – heating, cooling and hot water in one system
Heat pump – max efficiency – min bills. It is a complete solution for all needs of your home. A heat pump provides up to 70% lower bills for heating, cooling and hot water. Heat pump – energy is everywhere, you just have to take it!
Average read time: about 5 minutes 🙂
Why you have to choose a heat pump system for your home?
Heat pumps are one of the best options for providing heating, cooling and hot water for a home. Bulgaria and Europe with temperate climate allows maximum effective use of heat pump systems, in particular (air-water). Heat pumps use electricity to work, and a part of that electricity is from renewable sources. This fact makes them environmentally friendly way of heating and cooling.
High efficiency of a heat pump is proven by the fact that with consumed power of electricity of 1 kW, the pump generates between 3-8 kW heat energy for heating (depending on type and quality of performance). This effectiveness is presented by COP (Coefficient of performance). Good heat pump systems operate with COP between 4-6.
Heat pumps compared with:
Conventional heaters – COP 1.0
Gas boilers – approximately COP 0.85
Wood and coal boilers – approximately COP 0.70
Heat pump is the most energy efficient, least expensive in operation and respectively with lowest monthly bills if it is compared to all other heating systems. Heat pump systems allow savings of 70% of your monthly bill. Heat pumps purify the air in your home, work cleanly and efficiently and give you extra free time which other heating systems of wood, coal and pellets, for example, would take you.
Heat pumps allow optimal control of their work through room thermostats or online control through applications. The heat pump gives you extreme security because it has no burning fire and it has no hot surfaces which can cause burns to children and adults. Only the heat pump can give you cool in summer season, while all systems of wood, coal, gas and pellets do not have this option.
Btw what Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is an electrical device that extracts heat from one place and transfers it to another. The heat pump is a device that takes (steals) heat energy from a heat source and then transfers it to a final heat object / device. Heat pumps are designed to move thermal energy contrary to natural direction of movement of heat flow by absorbing heat from a cold space and releasing it in a warmer one.
The heat pump uses a certain amount of external energy to do its job of transferring energy. Heat pumps transfer heat by circulating a substance called a refrigerant through a cycle of evaporation and condensation. A compressor pumps the refrigerant between two heat exchanger coils. In one coil, the refrigerant is evaporated at low pressure and absorbs heat from its surroundings. The refrigerant is then compressed and route to the other coil, where it condenses at high pressure. At this point, it releases the heat it absorbed earlier in the cycle.
Heat pumps extract heat from cold air or ground outside and transport this energy in heating rooms.
In heating mode, the heat pumps are from 3 to 8 times more effective than conventional electric heaters. The price of a heat pump installation is more expensive than the price of ordinary electric radiators. However, in a long-term the savings that it generates pay back the initial investment in an extremely short time.
Heat pump – working principle
Heat pumps take advantage of physical properties, evaporation and condensation of volatile gases – better known as refrigerant (freon). The heat pump compresses the refrigerant to make it warmer in heating mode and it releases pressure in a cooling mode.
Working fluid in its gaseous form compresses and circulates in the system by using a compressor. After the exit of the compressor, where the refrigerant is a gas at high-temperature and high pressure, it goes in a heat exchanger where the refrigerant cools and condenses into a liquid at a moderate temperature and high pressure. The condensed refrigerant directs to a reducing valve (RV). After passing through the reducing valve, the refrigerant is with low pressure and at low temperature. After this process it goes into another heat exchanger which is called evaporator. In this evaporator the liquid refrigerant absorbs heat from environment and begins to evaporate itself. Finally the refrigerant returns to the compressor entry and the cycle repeats.
The freon has to reach significantly high temperature when it is compressed. This is of great importance because it has to release more heat through condensed heat exchanger. The refrigerant has to reach significantly low temperatures to allow expansion and to absorb more heat from cold environment through the evaporative heat exchanger. It is possible to use various types of refrigerants for different temperature conditions.
Different types of heat pumps
The types of heat pumps are based on source of heat [where it steals energy]. In principle, all heat sources for heat pumps should be at lower temperature than the temperature of heating spaces. Generally, the heat pumps extract heat from air, water and ground.
Heat pump air-water
The most common and the cheapest type of heat pump system is that type with a heat source of outside air. Air source heat pumps, also known as air to air heat pumps, are relatively easy to install and they are with lowest cost of purchase compared to other heat pump systems. Depending on the temperature of outside air, COP (coefficient of performance) can vary from 2.5 to 5. Mean annual coefficient is 3 – 3.5, as some specific types may exceed the coefficient significantly
Heat pump water-water
Another source of heat for heat pumps is water which almost always has higher temperature than environment in winter. Other types of water sources are close rivers, drilling water wells and sometimes even domestic wastewater ( the system utilizes heat of the waste water). Water source heat pumps usually have a higher coefficient than air source heat pumps. This circumstance comes from the fact that land and groundwater, which provide heat, have relatively constant temperature throughout the whole year at a depth of 8-10m.
Heat pumps ground – water
Amplitude difference in underground temperature is very small – mean annual variations are 2-3 degrees. This relatively constant temperature leads to high effective coefficient of ground-water heat pump systems. If ground source heat pumps are well installed and configured, they have a COP from 4 to 8. Values of COP vary in minimum range throughout whole heating season. Naturally, this high coefficient of performance makes ground source heat pumps much more expensive to be installed. This higher price is caused by the need of drillings or digging of a ground with a large area for horizontal mounting of tubular coil, in which circulates the working fluid.
The heat which is gained from ground in most cases is stored solar heat and it should not be confused with direct geothermal energy, although it contributes in a small part of the total gained heat.
When a pure geothermal heat is used for heating purposes, it requires only a circulation pump, but not a heat pump because the temperature of ground is higher than that of heating spaces and then the geothermal technology becomes a simple conventional heating.