Heat, Cool or a little of both?

All you need to know about Thermax Heat Pumps

When you think of cooling a hot building, you probably don’t think of heat pumps.

In fact, the words ‘air-conditioning’ or ‘fan’ are more likely to come to mind. As it turns out, a heat pump can both heat and cool and in some applications, it’s preferred to a separate heating and cooling system.

The concept behind the Thermax heat pump

In most of industries, substantial amount of energy is consumed in generating hot water and in the refrigeration effect. If these process operations of heating and chilling are made more efficient, then significant amount of energy consumption can be reduced. Thermax with the aim of providing energy efficient and environment friendly solution for such applications has come up with a heat pump using its unique, path breaking vapour absorption technology.

Thermax’s heat pump using input energy, pumps thermal energy from low temperatures to high temperatures. Heat pumps can transfer heat from natural or man-made thermal sources to a building or an application.

  • A heat pump is basically a single effect machine.
  • As in standard single effect vapour absorption chiller, in a heat pump the heat input through evaporator and generator are rejected in absorber and condenser.

Thus, Thermax Heat Pumps utilizes two types of heat sources readily available in the industry.

1.Low grade heat from cooling water which is normally rejected in cooling tower. It is utilized in evaporator. This ensures lower heat duty of cooling tower and lesser evaporative losses.

2. In addition to cooling water, heat pump uses another high grade heat like Fuel or               Steam. As part of heat recovery is done by the low grade heat source, hence the                   quantity of fuel or steam required will be lesser than in conventional system.

How is a heat pump different from an absorption chiller?

The operating principle of absorption heat pump is almost the same as that of the absorption chiller. The only difference is that the heat pump operates at higher pressures. For example, in case of absorption chiller, the lower shell pressure is in the range of 6 mm of Hg (absolute), whereas, for absorption heat pump, the same is in the range of 25-30 mm of Hg (absolute).

In case of heat pumps, the cooling water generally enters the heat pump at 32°C-36°C and comes out of the heat pump at 25°C-28°C. The heat extracted by the heat pump from the chilled water is then pumped to the circulating hot water which generally enters the heat pump at 30°C-32°C and leaves the heat pump at 75°C-90. This cooling water is generally referred in case of heat pump application as “District Hot Water” and is then transported through pipelines for various heating applications (like, consumption in household for space heating).

Similar to absorption chillers, heat pumps  also require a heat source to drive it. It can be either steam or hot water or gas/oil.

Advantages of using a heat pump:

  • 40% savings can be attained in external heat source consumption for generating hot water as  compared to conventional hot water generators.
  • One of the biggest advantages of a heat-pump over standard heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) unit is that there is no need to install separate systems to heat and cool your facility.
  • Heat pumps also work extremely efficiently because they simply transfer heat, rather than burn fuel to create it.
  • Further benefit of reduction in CO2 emissions (carbon credits) can be attained due to lower fuel consumption.
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