Heat Pumps – Hot water Sytems

Heat-pump hot water systems use a refrigeration cycle to extract heat from the surrounding air. They then use a heat exchanger to heat water in an insulated storage cylinder. These systems typically use around 60 to 75% less electricity than a conventional electric hot water system. This is because the electricity is used to operate the heat pump and doesn’t heat the water directly with an element.

How Heat pump hot water system works

here’s a step-by-step version of how a heat pump works: 

  1. The heat pump uses a fan to draw external air into the evaporator, 
  2. The evaporator’s piping contains a refrigerant that turns into gas courtesy of the warm outside air,  
  3. This gas is then pumped through a valve by a compressor, which generates heat,  
  4. The heat exchanger then moves the heat from the gas pipes through to the water storage tanks, which creates hot water. 
  5. Once the gas has passed through to the water storage tanks it turns back into a liquid, flows into an expansion valve where it cools further and finally returns to the evaporator to repeat the cycle once more. 

Types Of Heat Pumps

Integrated systems

In an integrated system the heat pump is often mounted on top of the storage cylinder, including evaporator, fan, compressor, and condenser. In some cases, the evaporator (which absorbs heat from the air) is separate from the storage cylinder or wrapped around it. As these systems come in a single unit, they’re generally heavier than split systems.

Split systems

 In split systems, the evaporator, fan and compressor are located in a separate unit and connected to the storage cylinder by refrigerant piping – the heated refrigerant gas passes through a heat exchanger located inside the cylinder to heat the water. They’re quite similar to a split system air conditioner.

Why choose Heat Pumps Hot Water system

Heat pumps for hot water systems offer several benefits, making them an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly choice for heating water. Here are some of the key advantages of heat pump hot water systems:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Heat pumps are highly energy-efficient because they move heat from the surrounding air or ground into the water, rather than generating heat directly. This means they can provide the same amount of hot water using significantly less electricity compared to traditional electric resistance heaters.
  2. Cost Savings: Due to their energy efficiency, heat pump hot water systems can lead to lower energy bills over time. While they may have a higher upfront cost, the savings on energy expenses can offset the initial investment.
  3. Environmentally Friendly: Heat pumps produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional water heaters that burn fossil fuels. This makes them a more environmentally friendly choice and can help reduce your carbon footprint.
  4. Renewable Energy Integration: Heat pumps can be easily integrated with renewable energy sources like solar panels, making it possible to heat water using clean, renewable energy, further reducing environmental impact.
  5. Consistent Hot Water Supply: Heat pumps can provide a consistent supply of hot water, as they are not dependent on fuel availability or storage tank size. This can be particularly advantageous for households with varying hot water demands.
  6. Long Lifespan: Heat pump hot water systems typically have a longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters. They are designed to be durable and can last for 10-15 years or more with proper maintenance.
  7. Low Maintenance: Heat pumps require minimal maintenance, mainly consisting of periodic cleaning of air filters and coils. This makes them a convenient choice for homeowners.
  8. Quiet Operation: Heat pump water heaters operate quietly, without the noise associated with some other types of water heaters, such as tankless or tank-type electric resistance heaters.
  9. Government Incentives: In many regions, governments offer incentives, rebates, or tax credits for installing energy-efficient heat pump hot water systems. These incentives can help offset the initial cost.
  10. Versatility: Heat pumps can be used in various climates and locations, as they are available in both air-source and ground-source (geothermal) models. They can work efficiently in cold or hot climates, making them a versatile option.