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Heat pump water heater

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Heat exchange systems began to be studied and patented by NASA, individuals and companies in the year 1970 (WP).[1][2]

A heat pump does not generate heat like a conventional water heater. Rather, it "pumps" or transfers heat from one area to another by alternatively compressing and decompressing a refrigerant as it passes from one area to another. In the case of a heat pump water heater, it transfers heat from the air surrounding the heater into the water inside its tank. Since only a small compressor motor, pump, and fan are required, the process can be two to three times more energy efficient.[3]

Heat pumps provide heat energy from a source of heat to a destination called a "heat sink". Heat pumps are designed to move thermal energy opposite to the direction of spontaneous heat flow by absorbing heat from a cold space and releasing it to a warmer one, and vice-versa. A heat pump uses some amount of external power to accomplish the work of transferring energy from the heat source to the heat sink.

This article contains content from Wikipedia. Current versions of the GNU FDL article
Heat pump
on WP may contain information useful to the improvement of this article

While air conditioners and freezers are familiar examples of heat pumps, the term "heat pump" is more general and applies to many Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) devices used for space heating or space cooling. When a heat pump is used for heating, it employs the same basic refrigeration-type cycle used by an air conditioner or a refrigerator, but in the opposite direction - releasing heat into the air-conditioned space rather than the surrounding environment. In this use, heat pumps generally draw heat from the cooler external air or from the ground.[4]

Its function is simplest understood as a refrigerator working in reverse.[5] The heat pump system contains a fan that forces air through an evaporator. The evaporator contains a liquid refrigerant. This refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat from the ambient air. The now warm gaseous refrigerant is then compressed by the compressor which is driven by an electric motor. As it goes through the compressor the pressure and temperature rises. The refrigerant turns back into a liquid which is now hot. The refrigerant then passes through the condenser, which is wrapped around the water tank. The hot refrigerant releases its heat to which is absorbed by the water in the tank. The now cooler refrigerant then passes through an expansion valve, where it transformed back into a gaseous state and the process begins again.

At least one American state has offered rebates on the purchase of HPWHs to encourage lower consumption of energy and green business.[6]

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Citations Edit

  1. Manually Operated Elastomer Heat Pump, WD Hutchinson - ‎1970 -NASA Jul 15, 1970 -. Cooling Fluid. Housing. "In analytical test work on the stress behavior of various types of elastomers"
  2. DS Root - Oct 19, 1970 - SHEET IGF An apparatus for controlling the temperature of a heat exchange medium in a reverse cycle heat pump system includes within a closed heat exchange medium
  4. Air-source heat pumps National Renewable Energy Laboratory June 2011
  5. Energy Star
  6. [1]

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