27/03/2013 Ariston Universe

Air source heat pump technology continues to evolve

When specified and installed correctly, air source heat pump (ASHP) technologies can produce significant energy and cost savings. However, with so many renewable heating technologies on the market, installers can be forgiven for wilting underneath the plethora of options that are available to them.

ASHPs can be easily integrated into existing properties, alongside a dedicated storage cylinder. Additionally, they are versatile when it comes to differing building types, once installed, they are usually more than capable of functioning completely automatically, delivering heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods of time, boosting efficiency. Plus, in terms of running costs, ASHPs have exceptional coefficients of performance (CoPs).

While these factors are all well and good, one slightly irksome point about the majority of ASHPs on the market is their size, which can result in units occupying a considerable part of a garden, as well as being rather unsightly. As a result, manufacturers are looking towards alternatives to the high power ASHPs on the market, with products that focus solely on renewable hot water production.

One new product that Ariston has specially developed, which is ideal for properties in off-gas areas, is the NUOS heat pump water heater, which sees the integration of an ASHP with an unvented cylinder. This harnesses all the advantages of quick and efficient hot water delivery, alongside the

benefit of high CoPs – making it an excellent, viable alternative to traditional electric storage water heaters. Plus, for those properties where lack of space is an issue, these products can be easily sited, while contributing to notable reductions in household utility costs.

These heat pump water heaters feature an evaporator, compressor, condenser and an expansion valve. When the unit is operating, a refrigerant fluid crosses the evaporator, absorbing heat from air that has been drawn in by a fan. This process ensures that the refrigerant evaporates, engaging the compressor to increase the pressure of the refrigerant gas, causing its temperature to rise. Inside the condenser, the refrigerant gas then passes its heat to the water held within the cylinder. This exchange process ensures that the refrigerant starts to return to its original liquid state by condensing and, once it has passed through the expansion valve, the refrigerant fluid loses further pressure and returns it to its formative state.

The simplicity and practicality of these products will undoubtedly cause a further influx of competing models on the market, especially as homeowners continue their quest to incorporate renewable technologies into their hot water systems. As a result, it’s important that installers remain aware that any products they fit in a home need to be considered in line with the occupants’ – and the buildings’ – requirements.