A heat pump is a unique way to use renewable energy to heat water without the use of solar panels.
Heat pumps can save you thousands on your hot water bills, as they use approximately one third the energy of an electric water heater.
We usually associate solar hot water with panels and a collector tank installed on a roof. Heat pumps use different technology to a solar hot water system.
How does a heat pump work?
A heat pump is similar technology to a reverse Cycle Air Conditioner. It transfers the heat in the air to the water stored inside the heater through a heat exchange system. In the case of heat pumps, “heat” is a relative term as they will still work in very cold conditions. As low as 3 degrees Celsius. So it will still be generating hot water for you during winter nights. How is that possible?
So here’s how the heat pump works. External air is drawn into the heat pump system via a fan. This then goes into an evaporator, containing a special type of refrigerant. This CFC free refrigerant has an evaporation or boiling point of -26C. Water has a boiling point of 100C.
Temperatures that feel very cold to us are still more than enough to make the refrigerant “boil”. The air that has been drawn into the system is far warmer than the refrigerant. This turns the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas inside the heat pump’s piping. A compressor then pumps the gas through a small valve. This valve compresses it and as a result of the process generates a great deal of heat. A heat exchanger transfers the heat from the gas pipes to a tank where water is stored. The temperature of the refrigerant has now dropped as the heat has been drawn away. So it returns to a liquid state and the heat pump cycle begins again.
Benefits of a heat pump
- Massive savings in hot water related expenses over the long term.
- A heat pump is effective even in low temperatures. In extreme cold, an electric assist is activated. This ensures the water stays at the right temperature.
- It’s an environmentally friendly hot water option given the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through less energy requirements.
- No roof space or panels are required.
- Ease of installation as a solar heat pump uses the same connections as an electric hot water system.
Heat pump suitability
Perth is a great place to install a heat pump because the temperature rarely reaches below 3 degrees Celsius and if you already have Solar panels you can benefit from this free electricity for your heat pump.
Talk to us to see how much you can save by installing a Bosch or Stiebel Heat Pump in Perth.