How many types of heat pumps are there?


release time:

2023-08-11

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from one location to another using a mechanical process. It's often used for heating and cooling purposes in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. The main principle behind a heat pump's operation is the movement of thermal energy from a colder area (source) to a warmer area (sink), which goes against the natural flow of heat.

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from one location to another using a mechanical process. It's often used for heating and cooling purposes in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. The main principle behind a heat pump's operation is the movement of thermal energy from a colder area (source) to a warmer area (sink), which goes against the natural flow of heat.

There are several types of heat pumps, but the most common ones are:

Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP):

Air source heat pumps use the energy in outside air or air from a ventilation system for heating, cooling and heating water. They can be installed entirely inside or outside the house. Or, you can have a system with one unit inside the building and one outside.

Water Source Heat Pump:

Water source heat pumps use the energy stored in ground water, surface, or sea or sewage water. The heat pump takes heat from the water and makes it available for heating, cooling and preparation of hot water. Water source heat pumps are particularly efficient because water is a very good energy carrier.

Ground Source Heat Pump:

Ground source heat pumps use the energy stored in the ground. They extract heat from the ground either by a vertical or horizontal collector.

Electrically and thermally driven heat pumps:

Many heat pumps use electricity to drive the compression cycle – meaning to heat up the energy from the air, water or underground a bit more. The heat pump can be plugged in and use renewable electricity.

Thermally driven heat pumps use heat or an engine to drive the compression cycle instead.
There are three main types of thermally driven heat pumps. Gas sorption heat pump (GAHP) and thermal compression heat pump (TCHP) are both covered by the standard EN 12309 and gas engine heat pump (GEHP) is covered by the standard EN 16905.

Heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling purposes by reversing the flow of the refrigerant and changing the heat exchange process. They're known for their energy efficiency, as they move heat rather than generating it by burning fuel. Heat pumps can provide significant savings on energy bills, particularly in moderate climates where the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors is not extreme.

It's worth noting that while heat pumps are efficient and environmentally friendly in terms of direct emissions, their overall impact depends on the source of electricity used to power them. If the electricity comes from renewable sources, the heat pump's carbon footprint can be minimized further.

 

(Source:European Heat Pump Association (EHPA))