What Is A Heat Pump?

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from a lower ambient temperature to a higher temperature system. Its function is, in essence, pumping heat from one place to another, that is why it is called a ‘heat pump’. This is in contrast to air conditioners and refrigerators. Where they primarily extract heat from a cooler system and release it into a warmer environment. 

It can also be configured to work in either direction to provide both heating and cooling, depending on the situation. These are known as reversible heat pumps. If the heat pump is only used for heating, the term ‘dedicated heat pump’ is sometimes used to distinguish it from reversible air-conditioning units.

Commonly used in space heating and cooling as well as hot water system applications in Australia. The climate is highly variable and there are four seasons throughout most of the country, making them an optimal choice in many situations. 

SolarOak uses them primarily for residential heat pump hot water systems and pool heating installations. Although they are frequently used for air conditioning, cooling potable water and space heating, in both residential and commercial settings. Heat pump water heaters (HPWH) account for approximately 3% of all water heaters in use in Australia.

Heat pumps can also be used in industrial applications. Most commonly process cooling, heating and drying. Some additional practises are boiler feed water preheating, pasteurisation, and washing processes, in addition to the ones mentioned above. The use of heat pumps in these applications is advantageous because industrial plants have waste heat flows. Rather than releasing this heat into the environment, it is usually more cost effective to use it in some of their step processes.

To learn more about heat pumps, their history and applications click here!

heat pump, solaroak, reclaim heat pump
pool heater, solaroak

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump works like a refrigerator in reverse, extracting heat from the environment and releasing it into the system we’re trying to control or heat up. The evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve are the four major components. Heat is transferred from the environment into the refrigerant that flows through the heat pump system at the evaporator. The refrigerant expands and turns into gas as it heats up. The refrigerant then flows through the compressor and is compressed before entering the condenser.

The refrigerant releases its heat into the system at the condenser. It condenses, or turns into liquid / vapour, as it does so. Refrigerant expands through the expansion valve, leaving the condenser and entering the evaporator to be re-circulated throughout the system.

The refrigerant releases its heat into the system at the condenser. It condenses, or turns into liquid / vapour, as it does so. Refrigerant expands through the expansion valve after leaving the condenser and entering the evaporator to be re-circulated throughout the system.

To learn more about how heat pumps work, watch this video!

How does a heat pump work?

What Options Are Available?

Heat pumps are used in a variety of services, including hot water systems and pool heating.

We provide the following systems: 

The Enviroheat heat pump is an excellent entry-level hot water system that outperforms many comparable products from competitors. It is an integrated heat pump system, which means that the compressor and tank are combined into a single unit. 

The Enviroheat heat pump hot water system has the expected features of a modern heat pump system. Features such as varying operating modes, boosting and multiple timers. Enviroheat were one of the first brands to offer a compressor warranty above industry standard. They can also be installed on a local power circuit due to the heat pump and boosting functions operating independently.

The i-Store heat pump is another excellent unit that includes all of the features you would expect from a heat pump hot water system. Because it can boost in addition to the heat pump, the i-Store heat pump must be installed on a dedicated circuit. 

The Reclaim heat pump comes with its own tank, heat pump compressor, and controller. While this causes the system to take up more physical space, the advantages are as follows: 

Greater storage capacity, faster heat transfer, lower operating noise, and a longer warranty. 

Ten years on the tank rather than five years, six years on the compressor rather than five years, and two years on the control box.

Click here to view our range of heat pumps!

Enviroheat Heat Pump
Reclaim heat pump

Why Choose A Heat Pump?

Heat pump hot water systems offer a more energy-efficient alternative to solar hot water systems for households. 

While both have lower annual hot water heating costs than traditional electric or gas hot water systems, heat pumps outperform even more when combined with solar power. 

Most modern solar power systems can easily offset the low operating consumption of a heat pump, approximately 600w/h. By setting the timer to run during the day when solar power is typically generating power, even in poorer weather conditions. 

This can reduce a heat pump’s annual power consumption to be as low as $45 per year, which is the heat pump in standby mode over night.

Heat pumps are also less expensive to buy and install than solar hot water systems, require less maintenance, and allow customers to change the settings with ease.

If you’d to know more about the systems and services we offer, please contact the staff at SolarOak here.