Home > Heat Pumps
Energy available from the air of from the ground around you can be utilised by a heat pump system to provide all your heating and domestic hot water requirements. If you are building a new house, converting a barn or upgrading your existing home then it is worth thinking about a heat pump installation.
Should land be available next to your property you could go for loops of pipe buried one metre down, an alterative, where space is limited, is to have the pipe placed vertically in bore holes or opt for an air source system.
Heat pumps can be connected to under-floor heating pipework or appropriately sized radiators. Whichever method is chosen, and with the correct control system, heat should be supplied in a gradual and continuous manner taking into account the outdoor temperature at the time to provide just the right amount of heat to keep the house at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.
So how does it work?
At the heart of any heat pump is a refrigeration system. A closed loop of pipe containing a refrigerant which, at one point a liquid, is warmed by contact with the outside air or with a fluid running in pipes under the ground.
As this refrigerant picks up energy it turns into a gas which is then passed through a compressor.
As pressure is increased the temperature of this gas also rises to a point where, via a heat exchanger, it can heat the water for a central heating system and a domestic hot water cylinder.
When heat energy is taken from this gas it will cool, pressure is released via an automatic valve and we end up with a liquid refrigerant again, back where we started.
The process works as a continuous loop extracting energy from one place and delivering it at a higher temperature to another.
Electrical energy is required to drive the compressor but for every kW of electricity supplied we can get between 3 and 4 kW of heat from the system, the difference coming from the environment which is warmed by renewable solar energy.