A heat pump is an electrically powered heating system that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another.
The two main types are air source heat pumps used to pull heat from the air outside your home and ground source heat pumps used to pull heat from the ground outside to provide both hot water & heat for your home or office building.
So how does the heat pump pull heat from the air or ground outside?
On the face of it you would think this can’t possibly work, taking heat from the air or ground outside! But in fact you already have a form of heat pump in your home and we take for granted that it continually works every day. Your fridge or refrigerator is a simplified heat pump, taking heat from inside your fridge through a series of coils fitted to the interior and transferring this heat to a panel of coils at the rear of the fridge unit. Quietly and efficiently this appliance performs the role of a heat pump day and night (and if you go to the electrical store you will see very high energy rating cert.’s on fridge’s, of the order of A or B rating).
A heat pump uses a small amount of energy to switch that process into reverse, pulling heat out of a relatively low-temperature area, and pumping it into a higher temperature area. In a heat pump, this heat is transferred from a heat source (e.g. the ground or air) into a heat sink (e.g. your home). Heat pumps are extremely efficient because they simply transfer heat, rather than burn fuel to create it.
For example: as mentioned in my last post the ratio of energy used in a heat pump to heat the hot water & space heating provided into to your home or business is from 3:1 up to 4:1 i.e. the pump uses 1 kilowatt of electricity and transfers 3 kilowatts of heat into the home heating system and hot water tank.
Making a heat pump from 350 – 400% efficient!
Some Heat pumps are also a bi-functional unique type of heating system, because they can do the work of both a heating system and an air conditioner – i.e. They can be switched into reverse to also cool a building taking the heat inside your home or office in the summer and expelling it outside in the same manner as your fridge.
Heat pump information on our website :
Air source heat pump : – How it works
Ground source heat pump : – How it works
Quick Glossary -
ASHP : ( Air Source Heat Pump )
GSHP: ( Ground Source Heat Pump )
COP: ( Coefficient Of Performance = The amount of heat created : divided by the amount of work [electrical] required to do so)
GEOTHERMAL: ( Ground source or Water source underneath ground )
In my next post I will provide the ‘back of the envelope’ approach to calculate the cost ‘versus’ payback of a heat pump heating system and discuss some of the other benefits of using this renewable energy heating / cooling system.