Heat pumps

Heat pumps

Heat pumps are high performance devices that allow both, heating and cooling. For every energy unit spent, they produce up to 5 thermal energy units.

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Heat pumps

Heat pumps

Heat pump

Heat pump is the base of the whole air conditionning system. Its great advantage is that it can produces both, air conditionning and heating, if the device is reversible. A good heat pump can be used even to cover the whole energy needs of a single familiy house, except cooking and lighting: heating, hot water and cooling.

Heat pumps are high efficiency devices strongly recommended by Soliclima. This efficienty is based on several thermodinamical laws, that help to move the heat from a place to another one with a minimal energy consumption. Thanks to this features, each energy unit of electricity produces four energy units of heat, that are applied to the domestic heating system.

This status of energy efficiency device allows to make applications for grants and other incentives.

heat pumps

Heat pumps usually have a doble unit. This one is the external one

Heat pumps sale

This one is the internal unit of the heat pump

Heat pumps advantages

  • High energy efficiency
  • They receive grants and other incentives
  • It allows an integral heating & cooling system
  • It combines very well with other energy efficient systems,such as solar energy or radiant floor heating

High performance heat pumps

But the biggest advantage of heat pumps is not its polivalent feature; what makes them really valuable is their high performance, measured in COP, acronym that means Coeficient of Performance. It measures how much energy is consumed and how much energy is produced by the device. A COP 1 means that for every consumed energy unit, one is produced. A water boiler for tea is an example of COP 1, the electrica resistance produces the same energy as consumed. A good heat pump can reach COP 5, that means it produces five times the produced energy.

There is no mistery on in. Allthought it might seem miracolous, a heat pump can extrat energy from outside, allthought the air temperature is to 32ºF. The reason is that the heat pump moves the heat from one place to another. For it, it uses an internal hidraulic circuit whose temperature is under 32ºF. That is why it can get heat from it.

We have to rememeber that this is a changeful value, and that it depends on the conditions of the device and its entorn.

How heat pumps work

We can extrat heat of our fridge o from our flat (cooling climatization). We can also insert heat in our flat (heating climatizacion). It is basically a closed hydraulic circuit with a refrigerant liquid in its interior. You can make the liquid circulate in the inside. When it is in the warmest place, the liquid is still in liquid estate. When it is drived to the outside, liquid pressure is lowed to force it to became a gas. While it is in the cold place of the circuit, refrigerant, that is in liquid state, absorbs the energy of the entorn, becoming a gas. As already said, a low temperature is not a problem to get heat. Thanks to physic property of gases, called latent heat, gas is converted in liquid again with a compressor, giving up its latent heat, that is used to heat the room.

New generations of heat pumps

Heat pumps for cold weather

It is convenient to remember that not every heat pump work well in low temperatures. Until recently, they weren't installed in locations where temperture is inferior to 40ºF in winter, then under that limit performance plummets, beacuse steam inside the heat pump freezes, covering the device with ice. A new generation has superated that problem with a mechanism that allows the use of the heat pump up to -4ºF, allthought up 32ºF the performance drops; but these new models make possible its use there where previously wasn't possible.

Inverter heat pumps

If you have planned to purcharse a heat pump, you are wondering the meaning of the word Inverter. An inverter heat pump has two differents advantages. Its compressor has a variable potency. A normal compressor works only in two modes: on and off. But an inverter works continuosly, arraging its working depending on the temperature conditions. Advantage comes on one side, of the electricity saving, and for the other, of the a much hight confortability, as we cannot note ups and downs in the temperture.

Types of heat pumps


an air-air heat pump obteins its energy from the outside and gves it up to inside of a building.

Allthought this kind of heat pump has lower performance as air-water, it has the advantage of the reversible feature of this heat pump; it doesn't need complements to generate cool in summer.

Equipment is in contact with the exterior, from where you extrat heat, and when the inside of the dwelling as well, where will give up the heat. This heat is later on distribuited to the different rooms of the building.

Performance of the air-air heat pump is highly conditionated by the exterior temperature. By extrem temperatures, the heat pump won't work at his higest capacity.

We have different kinds of facilities:

Compact, there the equipment embeds the different components in the same device. Extenal battery is in contact with otside, and the interior is conected to the conductos that distributes air throught the dwelling. Splitted: where interior and exterior are connected by means of isolated pipes, through which the liquid circulates. Exterior unit will be installed in the facade, and the interior unit is inside the dewlling. Air-water

Air-water heat pump extracts heat from exterior air, and gives it to the water circulating inside the heating system. This allows it to be very easily adapted to an already existent heating system. It is very usefull for swimming pools climatization.

Geothermal heat pump

A geothermal heat pump is a water-water heat pump. Heat exchange is not made with external air but with subsoil, throught an hydraulic system. Its performance is yet higher, then subsoil temperatures are much more favorable than air temperatures.

Comparative report between a heat pump and a gasoil boiler

Our technical department has compared a conventional gasoil boiler and a heat pump, that produces heating, cooling and hot water for the whole building. The result is that you can save .362 per year in energy if we decide to install a heat pump like this in our home.

Our report is limited to analize performance and economical advantages that this heat pump offers as source of heating. By comparating it with a boiler, we must leave put aside the benefits of this devide as cooling system.

If for example, we compare a heat pump and a gasoil boiler, difference is clear. During the second quarter of 2008, gasoil reached 90 cents per gallon; it is predictable that its price will grow. Gasoil:

1 gallon of gasoil=
1 gallon of gasoil = 10,21 kwh

In gas:
1 kwh of gas = $ 0,0514

And in electricity:
1 kwh eléctrico = 0,1073 €

We calculate using as example a single familiy dewelling with a average consum of 2.000 gallons of gasoil per year. Hagamos los cálculos pertinentes poniendo como ejemplo una casa unifamiliar con un consumo medio de 2.000 litros de gasoil al año. Por tanto en Washington tenemos:

Source of energy In Gasoil In gas In electricity
Dwelling needs 20.000 kwh 20.000 kwh 20.000 kwh
Consumed energy 25.000 kwh 22.222 kwh 5.952 kwh
In fuel 2.000 gallons --- ---
Cost .000 .143 8

In Washington, with a COP of 4,2, annual difference reaches .362 in gasoil and gas respectively in favour of the heat pump! With the additional advantage that we have a cooling system for the whole dewelling without the need of any additional device. ¡

Inversion in such an upmarket machine, is a bit higher than by conventional ones, but if we discount the price of gasoil, wehave a difference of between 4.000 and 6.000 dolars,

Si we save 1.362$ per year in fuen, we amortize the heat pump in only for years. If we add the money we save with the cooling system, we have a difference of betwen 1.000 to 3.000 dolars. That means that we can amorize in a period o 1 to 2 years .


Climatization: Climatization of small locals, offices, restaurants...

Hot water: Water is a source of heat. The highest demand on hot water is in the morning, so we can save costs generating hot water during the night.

Swimming pools climatization: In covered swimming pools, air must be renovated due to the high air humidity.

Heating, climatization and hot water: They supply water to the fan-coils, for the heating of locals and industries.

Water heating: Sometimes, some industrial processes need simultaneously hot and cool water. Compresion pumps with with electric engine are the best option for these facilities.

Products drying: For industrial dehumidifying, heat pumps are also the best option.

Other usages of heat pumps: Distillation, greenhouses heating, and other industrial usages.

Types of heat pumps

According to morphology:
- Compact: every element is inside the same housing.
- Splitted: they have two different and separated units. The one with the compressor is outside the building, to avoid noises.
- Multi-split: It has an outside unt and several interior units spreaded all over the building.

According to its operation:
- Reversible: they can work in both directions: for producing cooling and for heating.
- Non reversible: they work in only one direction, for instance the fridge.
- thermal - cooling - heat pumps: they can produce both, heating and cooling.


Actual reduction of emissions of gases with greenhouse effect is 6%, and could reach in the future up to 16%, said International Energy Agency. The developments of this technology will let heat pumps to optimize its performance, and they will be much more used. Evolution of heat pump during next years will depende on the evolution of cooling liquids. Organochlorides, used by the most of the heating pumps, tends to desapear due to their high polution.

Technical Support

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