Answer: Heat pumps work by collecting a large amount of low grade heat from the environment, and transferring it into high grade heat to use in your home. Ground source systems collect heat from the rock or soil using a heat transfer fluid which is pumped through underground pipe, picking up heat along the way. Air source systems use a fan to draw air across a metal heat exchanger, stripping heat out of the air as it passes through.
In both types of system the heat energy is then transferred into a refrigerant circuit in the heat pump using a heat exchanger. The refrigerant is compressed, which makes it very hot, and the heat is delivered into your heating and hot water system using another heat exchanger.
“The way I always used to describe it was: it operates in the same way as a fridge, but in reverse. So, fridges take the space in the refrigerator and cools them down. If you’ve ever put your hand on the back of the fridge where the panels are – if the fridge is operating correctly – they’ll be warm. So that fridge is cooling one space down, warming the other space up slightly. But the use of the fridge is for cooling the things that are in the fridge. What we’re doing with a heat pump is using that same principle and that same process but instead of cooling the space down, we’re warming the house up. So, it’s exactly the same type of technology.”
“It’s sort of like putting your finger on the end of a bicycle pump and squeezing. Clients don’t don’t usually understand how this magic box works and how you get from cold outside to hot inside? In very simple physics terms, when you compress energy, you raise temperature and that’s really all we’re doing. If you cast your mind back as a kid: you put your thumb on the end of a bicycle pump and press, it gets hot. That’s basically what we do.”
We have vast experience of installing air source and ground source heat pumps in domestic and commercial properties all over the UK. Our engineers can explain exactly how a heat pump works, and what you need to do to maintain its performance for the long-term. The design and installation of a heat pump can all be handled by us, working with key project stakeholders such as architects, project managers, and builders.
For more information about how we can help you, contact Smart Renewable Heat today.
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