Air to water heat pump: how it works

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Airflow-M 5-20 Monobloc Wärmepumpe Außenmodule Parade | Hargassner

A marvel of technology

This is how an air to water heat pump works

Whether it’s new construction or renovation: Anyone who is concerned with the installation or modernization of their own heating system cannot avoid the topic of heat pumps – after all, they are on everyone’s lips as a climate-friendly and cost-effective alternative to oil and gas heating. Hargassner offers you highly efficient air to water heat pumps in monobloc design. Unlike split units, monobloc heat pumps have all the main components in one unit – so you benefit from particularly simple, cost-effective and space-saving installation, as well as low-maintenance and safe operation.

In the following, we would like to explain how air to water heat pumps work in more detail.

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How a heat pump works step by step

A true marvel of technology: with an air to water heat pump, you utilise a free and inexhaustible source of energy – the ambient air. The way a heat pump works is similar to the way a refrigerator works, only in reverse. And it works like this: The heat pump extracts thermal energy, i.e. heat, from the environment. This thermal energy is raised to a higher temperature level and used by means of a refrigeration cycle.

This process requires electricity. However, because a large part of the energy needed to drive the pump is taken directly from the ambient air, heat pumps are considered to be extremely energy efficient.

The refrigeration cycle

The refrigeration cycle is the most important when considering how a heat pump works. In monobloc units, the entire refrigerant circuit is contained within a single housing, making installation easier and often less expensive, as well as ensuring low maintenance and more flexible operation.

The processes in this closed circuit are used to bring the recovered heat to the required temperature level.

The refrigerant circuit runs in four constantly repeating steps:

1. Vaporisation

In an air to water heat pump, a fan draws in the ambient air and passes it through the evaporator. There, a refrigerant flows, which evaporates even at very low temperatures. The refrigerant becomes gaseous due to the heat of the ambient air – this works even at low outside temperatures of down to -25 °C.

2. Compressing

The refrigerant, now in gaseous form, flows further to the compressor. Here, the pressure is increased by mechanical work in order to reach the required working temperature.

3. Capacitance

The generated heat is transferred to the heat distribution and storage system via a capacitor (heat exchanger). The heat can now be used for heating purposes, for example. The refrigerant condenses again, i.e. it changes from a gaseous to a liquid state.

4. Expansion

The condensed refrigerant is then expanded to the initial pressure and cools down further. The cycle can then start again from the beginning.

Wide range of applications

Heat pumps are true all-rounders: The classic application is their use as a heating system – the heat can be emitted via underfloor heating, wall heating or radiators. The heat energy gained can also be used for hot water preparation. In addition, the function of the heat pump can be reversed on hot days and thus the living space can be cooled. This makes the heat pump an environmentally friendly air conditioner in summer.

Hargassner - Your expert for heat pumps

Rely on future-oriented technology: With a heat pump, you benefit from particularly low operating and maintenance costs. You also become independent of fossil fuels and protect the environment and climate. Heat pumps can be used in both new and old buildings.

Which heat pump model suits your individual requirements? Get in touch