Heat pumps are an innovative way for economical and efficient heating and cooling domestic and administrative buildings. Heat pumps can be classified as a renewable source of energy since they use endless resources such as air, water and land. This is a modern and ecological solution that cares about human needs and protects the environment.
Heat pumps are one of the least common yet most efficient way to heat or cool. Heat pumps are closed circuits that use free energy from the environment and almost no cost to maintain and use and the electrical consumption is minimal due to it being used only to transport heat from one place to another. Even though they have higher initial investment in long terms heat pumps have much lower energy consumption compared to every other type of system. Heat pump energy efficiency is of the highest class.
Another advantage is that heat pumps are fully automatic, compact, reliable, safe and easy to use. They provide complex and year-round heating, cooling and domestic hot water production.
To evaluate the efficiency and choose between different types of heat pumps, two coefficients are used:
According to EU regulation 206/2012 these old coefficients were replaced by new ones and manufacturers are required to declare them in the labels.
Heat pump classification is based on the way they use the natural resources – the heat energy source. The most common types extract heat from the air, from water or from below the ground.
They extract energy from the surrounding air. Their advantage is the relatively low price and high COP, but this coefficient is highly affected by the atmosphere conditions and is changing depending on the external temperature. Aerothermal heat pumps don’t heat evenly the rooms due to the air circulation and can be noisy.
Depending on the maximum temperature of the water circulating in the installation, air to water heat pumps can be:
Depending on how they are made, these heat pumps can be:
The main disadvantage of monoblock heat pumps is that water is circulating outside the building and if temperatures are very low (and the heat pump doesn’t have safeties built-in) the water can freeze. It is recommended using special water solutions, non-stop operation or using an electric heating element to avoid freezing. In countries and areas where temperature doesn’t stay below -20˚С for prolonged periods makes them a very good option.
They extract heat from underground bodies of water that have a constant temperature of 7°С to 14°С in depths of 20 to 30m. This type of heat pumps have very high energy efficiency, but installing one requires in-depth geothermal survey and possibly a license in order to drill for underground water. In some protected areas it’s prohibited to use hydrothermal heat pumps.
They extract heat from the soil or deep below ground. Heat energy in the soil is limitless even with very low atmospheric temperatures. Soil is a very good heat accumulator since its temperature is almost constant all year. Exactly because of this geothermal heat pumps are a very reliable way of heating in cold winter days. Apart from heating your home, you can rely on geothermal installations for cooling it in the summer. The application of heat pumps for cooling for HVAC in the domestic and industrial sector is a good alternative of conventional boiler and chiller systems. The energy saved using geothermal heat pumps can be up to 75%. Practically every heat pump using a valve is capable of reversing the functions of the evaporator and the condenser which means it will supply heat in winter and cold in summer. This type of heat pumps are very efficient and have very short investment return period. Geothermal heat pumps can supply all year domestic hot water with temperatures of up to 60 °С even during summer.
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