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Increasingly used, the heat pump is a heating device that transfers heat from one medium to another with reduced energy consumption.

The basic principle of the heat pump

The heat pump makes two different environments interact:

  • An emitting medium, where the heat pump comes to draw the calories necessary for the production of heat.
  • A receiving medium, where is injected the heat produced by the heat pump.

The nature of these media depends on the type of heat pump used. Thus, the emitter medium may be air, soil or water and the receiving medium water or air according to the heating requirements. Some heat pumps so-called reversible can reverse their action in summer to produce not more heat but freshness from the transmitter medium.

The anatomy of a heat pump

The heat pump works with a special liquid: the liquid or refrigerant. This liquid recovers the calories present in the transmitter medium and transfers them to the heating system through the pump. It is harmless for man and the environment in case of leakage.

The heat pump generally uses a sensor to recover the calories of the emitting medium (soil, air, water). The capture circuit differs depending on the type of pump.

Whatever its type, a heat pump consists of four main organs where the refrigerant circulates continuously in liquid and gaseous form:

  • The evaporator transfers the calories recovered by the sensor to the fluid and makes them boil. The refrigerant therefore takes a gaseous form at low pressure.
  • The compressor sucks the refrigerant gas and increases its temperature by compressing it. The refrigerant therefore has a gaseous form at high pressure.
  • The capacitor recovers this gas high pressure and high temperature and transfers its energy to the heating system. The fluid resumes a liquid form but always under high pressure.
  • Regulator or pressure reducer recovers the liquid and decreases its temperature as well as its pressure.

The heat pump can be connected to virtually any heating system. The most widely used heating systems, however, are heated floors, fan coils and low temperature radiators.

Video Instruction: How Does a Heat Pump Work?