As a lift moves people from a low floor to a higher one, heat pumps move heat from a low temperature source to a useful higher temperature; however both the lift and a heat pump need energy input to do the work. In the case of a heat pump the amount of useful heat provided can be several times the amount of energy required to power it, making the heat pump an effective device for providing heat.
All heat pumps consist principally of three elements, the heat exchanger on the source side, known technically as the evaporator, the heat pump itself, and the heat exchanger on the discharge side, known as the condenser. There are three basic types of heat pumps, air source, ground source and water source. The actual heat pump in each type, can be identical; merely the heat exchanger on the source side is different to suit the source.
Although they fundamentally operate the same way, each type of heat pump is affected by different issues and these issues need to be fully understood to create a successful scheme.
For ground source heat pumps using horizontal coils, either pipes or slinkys may be used, these require a relatively large area of ground free of trees. Alternatively if boreholes are used, the underlying ground conditions can dramatically affect both the efficiency and the cost of sinking the bores.
Air source heat pumps however, can be a lot easier to install but at the loss of efficiency compared to a ground source system. Air source also need careful selection to ensure that the output matches the demand at a temperature below that used for calculating the heat loss and that the minimum operating temperature is low enough to avoid the heat pump shutting down in very cold weather.
Water source heat pumps need water in the form of groundwater, a river, or a lake and may need the approval of the environment agency and extraction and discharge licenses. They will also require additional equipment such as filters to ensure that the heat exchanger does not block up.
In all cases, heat pumps need the approval of the Regional Electricity Company who may also require the fitting of additional equipment in the form of a soft start mechanism, especially in rural areas. d3a can provide a full range of services, providing advice on the most suitable system for your project requirements.