Heat Pumps

Heat Pump systems are available in an array of types and combinations that can suit almost any application. For heating purposes, they can be divided into basic types determined by the source and the destination of the heat and the medium that the heat pump uses to either absorb or reject the heat in each of these locations. At either side of the heat exchangers the heat transfer media can be either liquid (water, or often a glycol mixture) or Air; sometimes it is a combination of the two. In describing the type of heat pump, generally the heat source is provided first, followed by the destination or heat sink e.g. Air to Air, Ground to Water and so on.

The main variants in common use are known as “Air-source”, “Ground-source” and “Water-source”.

A heat pump is a device for transferring energy in the form of useful heat from one place to another. It cannot store, make or destroy heat energy – it simply moves it. There are a number of techniques that exploit heat transfer; the commonest in use is the Refrigeration Cycle. A heat pump is capable of transforming a large quantity of low grade, low temperature heat. Some air source systems will operate in winter ambient conditions down to -15ºC. Heat pumps are available that can operate in a variety of media Air, Water, glycol, etc.

For a downloadable copy of the Energy Saving Trust’s document “A Buyer’s Guide to Heat Pumps” and for more information please visit their website.

For a downloadable copy of “Heat Pump Field Trial” from the Department of Energy and Climate Change please click here.