What is a heat pump for heating and domestic hot water?
Let's make a small introduction, why today should we use a heat pump instead of a natural gas boiler as we have been used to doing?
The increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the earth's atmosphere are considered one of the main factors causing global warming.
To cope with the problems related to global warming, the RES (Renewable Energy Sources) directive was issued at the European level, which establishes the objectives of energy production from renewable energy to be achieved for each individual state of the union by 2020.
Heat pumps, as thermal renewable sources, make a decisive contribution to achieving the objectives given that:
• have a 60% higher energy efficiency than traditional combustion systems ;
• they do not emit CO2 in the place of installation ;
• use the renewable energy present in the air.
This explains why in the last 3/4 years the use of heat pumps for heating and domestic hot water has had a double zero percentage increase every year.
But how does a heat pump for water heating work?
It is a device very similar to an air conditioner that we all know to cool the ambient air.
The air conditioner cools the ambient air by transporting the heat outside and releasing it through the air.
The heat pump, on the other hand, instead of heating or cooling the ambient air, heats or cools water.
Water that is dedicated to running, for example, an underfloor heating system, or the production of domestic hot water, which comes out of the taps.
There is an outdoor unit, connected to an indoor unit to which the heating flow and return pipes and the domestic hot water inlet and outlet are connected.
In practice, the free thermal energy present in the outside air in unlimited quantities is used to heat the building or hot water for sanitary use. The electricity that powers the heat pumps is only used to drive the compressor and other auxiliary devices.
These machines are very efficient from the point of view of consumption, as by consuming 1 kW of electricity and absorbing another 3 kW of thermal energy from the outside air, they are able to yield 4 kW to the water.
A 1: 4 ratio, is really very high when compared even with the latest generation condensing boiler.
There are also other types of heat pumps that instead of exchanging heat with the outside air use well water, or geothermal probes that are inserted underground
The heat pumps are the most efficient equipment from an energy point of view and consequently also enjoy high economic incentives as regards their installation.
It is possible to have a self-sufficient building from an energy point of view, as the energy necessary for the operation of the heat pump is self-produced by the system!
Precisely to encourage the energy efficiency of buildings, there are numerous incentives to install heat pumps.