- Category: Heat Pumps
- Published: Saturday, 28 June 2014 19:51
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 660
A heat pump is simply a device that is used to carry heat from one place to another. This technology has been used throughout the world for many years and in some places that most people wouldn’t think of! In fact, refrigerators and air conditioners are excellent examples of heat pumps even though these appliances are used for cooling rather than heating. These forms of heat pumps work the same way traditional heat pumps do but in reverse. These appliances still carry heat from one place to another but these pumps are carrying heat away from the source rather than to it.
Inside of heat pumps is a substance called a refrigerant. This refrigerant is put through a cycle of evaporation and condensation, causing the heat to be carried from one location to another. This refrigerant is pumped between two heat exchanger coils by a device that’s known as a compressor. The first heat exchanger coil is used to evaporate the refrigerant at a very low pressure. During this time, the coil is gathering heat from its surroundings. After this the refrigerant is pumped to the other coil by the compressor. While the refrigerant is being pumped to the other coil it is also being compressed at a very high pressure. As the refrigerant is being compressed, it releases the heat that it gathered from the first heat exchanger coil.
A refrigerator acts like a heat pump by transferring hot air from inside the refrigerator to outside of the refrigerator. There are still two heat exchange coils with one usually being located inside the freezer compartment. This coil is the evaporator coil that evaporates the air at a very low pressure. This air is then delivered to the compressor coil, which is usually located either underneath the refrigerator or behind it. Air conditioners also have heat pumps. With window air conditioners, both pumps are located inside the single unit, moving air directly from outside, cooling it, and then pushing it inside. The larger central air conditioners can also have both coils in the outdoor unit or one of the coils can be placed inside the home.
But heat pumps don’t only have to work one way. The cycle can be done completely in reverse, meaning that heat pumps can not only heat the home in the winter but can also take much of the humidity out of the air in the summer.