Heat pump technology is one of the cutting edge technologies when it comes to renewable energy water heating products. Even though this technology has been used in South Africa for heating water for many decades the recent increase in international demand has brought the component costs down, making the product extremely affordable for both residential and commercial applications. Using refrigeration cycle to extract energy from the surrounding air (indirectly using solar energy) can provide you with 60°C hot water day or night, winter or summer at a quarter of the cost of electrical geyser element heating.
ITS Solar is known to be a leader in the design and manufacturing of heat pump heating technology and manufactures some of the most efficient systems on the market.
How does a Heat Pump work?
A heat pump works like an air conditioning unit in reverse. It extracts heat from the ambient air surrounding it, enabling it to heat the refrigerant which is then compressed causing it to get even hotter. This is then run through a heat exchanger in which the water is heated. The refrigerant is then allowed to expand again, thus cooling it down and enabling it to again absorb heat from the surrounding air. So only a little electricity is used to run a fan and compressor while the heat energy is provided indirectly by the sun.
The heat pump is not reliant on sunshine or direct radiation but extracts heat energy from the air at any time of the day or night and so is effectively a solar heater in a different form. Even in extremely cold conditions (-5C and lower) the heat pump can still provide a saving of more than 50%. In most cases in South Africa, where our daytime temperatures are relatively high, the efficiency is going to be at least 3 x that of an element heated water system.
For more information please take a look at the ITS Heat Pump Brochure