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How do heat pumps work?

Heat pump technology itself is nothing new. The technology that is incorporated into every Hydrotherm has been around for over a 100 years in a multitude of appliances from refrigerators to air conditioners. The Hydrotherm hot water system is classified as an air to water heat pump and these types were first introduced over 50 years ago.

Unlike standard electric hot water systems, our system doesn’t use resistive elements to convert electricity directly into heat energy. These elements use up a lot of energy, requiring up to 3600 Watts per hour to run. Instead the Dynamic uses an average of 800 Watts per hour.

Instead of using electrical energy as the fundamental means of heating water, heat pumps use the heat that is generated naturally from the sun. That is why heat pumps are considered as a solar type of hot water system, as they use energy from the sun, even if they are not in direct sunlight.

A simplified rundown of how a heat pump works is as follows:

1.  The system’s fan draws in the surrounding heated air.

2.  Heat from the air is transferred to refrigerant stored in the evaporator and the cooled air exits the system. As the refrigerant is heated it moves from the evaporator into the Panasonic compressor.

3.  The pressure of the refrigerant is increased by the compressor, turning it from a gas to a super heated liquid.

4.  The super heated liquid refrigerant is pumped through the heating coil that wraps around the water storage tank. The refrigerant transfers its heat to the water and is cooled back into a gas, as it returns to the evaporator.

The process then repeats until all the water stored in the tank is heated to a full sixty degrees.

This heating process explains how heat pumps got their name. Instead of directly heating water, heat pumps transfer or “pump” heat from one source to another. That’s why they are considerably more efficient that other hot water systems.

Watch our how a heat pump works video to find out more:

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