What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a standalone, two-component appliance that uses refrigeration technology and electricity to
provide heating and cooling for homes, businesses, and other applications. A heat pump has two components – a condenser which produces the heating or cooling, and an indoor unit that passes hot or cool air into the home. The condenser and air handler are separated or “split” by refrigerant line, heat pumps may sometimes be referred to as “mini-splits.” Heat pumps offer extraordinarily high-efficiency rates
How does a Heat Pump Work?
A heat pump uses electricity and refrigerant to move heat from one location to another. When there is a call for heat, the heat pump will turn on the fan in the outdoor unit to begin the process of extracting heat from the air outside of your home. The refrigerant line carries this heat to the indoor unit, which then transfers the heat to the air inside of your home via an indoor unit fan. In cooling mode the process is reversed, transferring heat out of your home and returning cool air to the inside.
How Many Types of Heat Pumps Exist and what are they?
There are three main types of heat pumps:
- Air source heat pumps that take the heat from the air
- Ground source heat pumps that extract it from the ground where the temperature is quite constant, regardless of the temperature above the ground.
- Water source heat pump operates much like a traditional air source heat pump except that it extracts and dissipates heat by way of water instead of air.
What is the benefit of having a heat pump?
Because a heat pump only uses electricity for power rather than for the generation of heat, it offers a
remarkably high efficiency rate. Because of this, heat pumps are capable of providing more than 3 units of
heat for every unit of electricity used for efficiency rates over 300%. If you are using a heat pump along
with a primary heating system such as oil, gas or electric, you’ll find extra savings by using the heat pump to
offset the primary fuel use. Heat pumps will help in this way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
What is the difference between a heat pump and air conditioner?
A heat pump is an alternative to an air conditioner. As cooling systems, an air conditioner and a heat pump
system are very similar, drawing heat from the air inside your home and releasing it through an outdoor
unit. But, unlike an air conditioner, a heat pump can reverse the process, heating your home by collecting
heat from seemingly-cold outside air and releasing it inside.
What is the Industrial use of Heat Pumps?
Heat pumps are essential in industrial heating solutions, supplied by either district heating, surplus heat
from the industrial processes or wind power. Re-using the process energy for space heating and hot water is
an attractive short-cut to significant energy savings and a sustainable future with added advantages like
Low energy consumption reduced applied costs, short payback time and easy service
What is COP?
The COP of a heat pump is the ratio of: COP= energy out/energy in. When the COP is >1, the result is a
system providing more heating energy than energy consumed. As the COP increases, efficiency increases
resulting in lower utility costs.
How Long Will a Heat Pump Last?
The average lifespan of a heat pump is 15 to 20 years if they are constantly being monitored and preventive
maintenance is performed.
Should I go for direct or indirect process heat integration?
In a direct integration system, the heat transfer takes place between hot and cold fluids. There are no
separating walls between the fluids. The direct integration is best suited for hotels, canteens and some
industrial applications where raw water/RO water needs to be heated.
In an indirect integration system, the heat transfer takes place continuously from the hot fluid to the cold
fluid through a dividing wall. The transfer medium (water) absorbs heat in one part of the plant and
releases it in another. This approach is used when direct contact between heat source and heat sink is not
allowed or when one sink needs many heat sources or in heating pre-treatment tanks that are prone to
corrosion. Indirect Integration is significantly more expensive in the beginning, but safer and less costly in
the long run. Hence selection of integration type primarily depends on the properties of process fluid and
number of tanks to be integrated.
Up to which temperature levels can a heat pump be applied?
The application area of a heat pump depends on the type of heat pump and the refrigerant applied. With a
mechanical heat pump and Ammonia as its refrigerant, maximum temperatures of 90 to 100 °C can be
What’s the difference between Air conditioner vs. Heat pump?
Heat pumps and air conditioners use the same technology to cool your home. They share the same energyefficient features. Minus a few small technical differences, heat pumps and air conditioners cool your home
in the same way, with no real difference in comfort quality, energy efficiency or energy costs.
The main difference between heat pumps and air conditioners is that a heat pump can also heat your home
while an air conditioner can’t. An air conditioner needs to be paired with a furnace for a home to have full
central heating and cooling.
Basically refrigerators and air conditioners are both examples of heat pumps operating only in the cooling
mode. A refrigerator is essentially an insulated box with a heat pump system connected to it. The
evaporator coil is located inside the box, usually in the freezer compartment. Heat is absorbed from this
location and transferred outside, usually behind or underneath the unit where the condenser coil is located.
Similarly, an air conditioner transfers heat from inside a house to the outdoors.
The heat pump cycle is fully reversible, and heat pumps can provide year-round climate control for your
home – heating in winter and cooling and dehumidifying in summer. Since the ground and air outside
always contain some heat, a heat pump can supply heat to a house even on cold winter days. In fact, air at –
18°C contains about 85 percent of the heat it contained at 21°C.
What’s the difference between Gas furnace vs. Heat pump?
The main difference between the two is how they create heat. A heat pump uses electricity to move heat
from one place to another. A furnace burns fuel to create heat. Because of this, a heat pump will be more
Another difference between heat pumps and furnaces is energy efficiency and environmental impact.
Because it runs on electricity, heat pumps emit zero of the harmful emissions that have been proven to
contribute to climate change.
Plus, a heat pump will also cool your home in the summer, eliminating the need to purchase a separate air
Difference Between an AC and Chiller?
An air conditioner is designed to dehumidify and remove heat from an area. The cooling is done using a
simple refrigeration cycle. A condenser is a component of the basic refrigeration cycle that removes heat
from the system. The condenser is the hot side of an air conditioner. Condensers are heat exchangers that
can transfer heat to air or heat to fluid (such as water or glycol) to carry the heat away
In most air conditioning systems geared for cooling, the principal refrigerant is chilled water. Air passes
through a coil of chilled liquid and the heat is transferred from the air to the chilled water. The chilled water
is cycled through so that chilled water is always present as air comes through. This type of environmental
temperature maintenance is the most common in offices, homes, and retail outlets.
Air conditioners allow for precise regulation of air temperature and humidity level in more confined spaces.
Air conditioners are used in homes, small buildings and some offices and the units vary in size and practical
A chiller removes heat from a liquid through a vapour-compression or absorption refrigeration cycle. This
cooled liquid flows through pipes in a building and passes through coils in air handlers and fan-coil units
cooling and dehumidifying the air in the building. There are two types of chillers – air-cooled or watercooled. Air-cooled chillers are usually outside and consist of condenser coils cooled by fan-driven air.
Water-cooled chillers are usually inside a building, and heat from these chillers is carried by re-circulating
water to a heat sink such as an outdoor cooling tower.
Chiller driven refrigerant has applications in cooling equipment and other manufacturing processes, such as
MRI machines, assembly processes and tooling equipment. Air-cooled chillers are used commercially and
in industrial facilities to cool fluids and dehumidify air in larger venues, such as factory floors, arenas and
larger facilities like hotels.