What exactly is a heat pump and why is it worth using?
A heat pump is a device that can provide cooling and heating for a given facility or building by converting external environmental energy. Another advantage of the device is that if it is used in a monovalent system, the chimney construction can be omitted, so we do not have to reckon with emissions, so it is a really environmentally friendly solution. Nor do we have to deal with the cleaning and maintenance of the chimney, nor is there a danger that carbon monoxide will enter the living space if the chimney becomes clogged. Anyone who votes for the use of heat pumps can expect a more favorable overhead (up to 50% savings compared to a gas boiler solution!), A greater sense of security and a higher degree of comfort than other alternatives thanks to the fully automated system.
Previously, the installation of a heat pump was not recommended for systems with higher heating water temperatures (above 38 ° C) because the systems at that time were only able to achieve optimal efficiency at low temperatures. However, thanks to significant technological advances, today's equipment can cope with the extraction of heating water up to 85 ° C - of course these are large industrial machines, but we can also count on a flow temperature of 50-55 ° C for heat pumps used at the residential level.
Although the operation of heat pumps also requires the investment of electricity, it always pays off: we recover many times the energy invested by using the device.
Structure and operation of heat pumps
In order for the heat pump to produce useful energy, a medium with a low boiling point is required, which, when it absorbs heat in the evaporator at low temperatures and pressures, is converted into gas. The gas thus formed passes through the suction line to the pressure line by means of a compressor, where its temperature will be higher as a result of the pressure. Upon entering the condenser, the gaseous state becomes liquid, so that useful heat is dissipated. Subsequently, the already liquid medium is a so-called it enters a segregated nozzle with an expansion valve, through which it returns to the evaporator, this time reducing the temperature and pressure.
Heat pump application methods and areas:
- cooling: the equipment in this case cools the rooms while transferring the energy extracted from them to the air outside the outdoor building.
- heating: the heat pump uses the heat dissipated from the heat source medium to heat the heating water flowing in a closed circuit (recommended for low temperature heating systems and wall, ceiling and floor heating);
- hot water production: for this application, it must be taken into account that the temperature of the hot water that can be extracted by the heat pump does not normally exceed 60 ° C.
The heat pumps we sell can be divided into 3 groups according to the type:
- Air-water type: The most common type. Their popularity is due to their ease of installation. These devices extract the necessary heat from the outdoor air, which will be carried by water. In case of extreme cold weather conditions, it may not be enough: electric safety heating (this is what our machine has at the residential level) may be needed. Great for low temperature heating systems and for surface heating. In the case of retrofitting, this variation is the most practical, because if the heating system allows, it is the easiest alternative to install.
- Water-to-water heat pumps: These models usually extract heat from groundwater (possibly from a nearby lake / river). These systems are the most cost-effective solution, but they are more costly to install than air-to-water type devices (with a flow temperature of up to 85 degrees Celsius). It is also excellent for cooling in summer.
- Air-to-air type: This design is mostly installed in areas with split, multisplit or VRV system air heating. Their use is mainly typical of facilities and business centers covering a large area.