Heat pumps work by taking low grade heat from the environment such as the air, the ground or a water source and use this through a refrigerant cycle to produce low temperature water.
The heat pumps can also be used to provide cooling as well as heat either separately or at the same time. This is often used for applications that require both heat and cooling such as dairy processing and potato stores.
Heat pumps are an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel, heating systems such as LPG or Oil, because of this, Ground Source Heat Pumps currently receive the highest levels of government support from the Renewable Heat Incentive.
As they use electricity to operate they work well in conjunction with other renewable technologies such as wind or solar to provide even lower heating costs.
Ground source heat pumps work by extracting ground stored heat through a network of underground pipes. Depending on the size of land available nearby, these pipes are either buried in trenches or in a bore hole.
The pipes contain a mixture of water and antifreeze. As this liquid passes around the loop, it absorbs heat from the ground, raising its temperature. When the liquid reaches the pump, a compressor then raises the temperature further. A heat exchanger utilises this heat for your central heating system or to meet hot water requirements. As the liquid cools, it returns to the pipes to complete the cycle again.
Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside to warm homes and buildings. An energy efficient and cost effective alternative to traditional gas, oil or electric powered heating systems, air source heating pumps even work at temperatures as low -20°c!
These heat pumps work in a similar way in which a refrigerator works, only in reverse. Heat from the air is absorbed by a fluid within the pump which then passes through a compressor, raising its temperature. The liquid then passes through a heat exchanger to either heat the water in the central heating system or provide hot water.
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