Heat Pumps

“Heat pump” has become somewhat of a buzz word as a result of Eskom providing Rebates and energy awareness on the rise. But what is a heat pump actually? A heat pump is a water heater that uses significantly less energy when heating water in comparison to conventional resistant heating. The reason for this is that where conventional elements have to create all the heat to heat the water, a heat pump transfers the existing heat from the air to the water. The process of moving the heat from the air to the water uses significantly less energy than having to create the heat from nothing.

For our clients with blocks of flats, this means a substantial saving can be achieved on water heating when replacing the existing heating systems with heat pumps. Below are a few examples of projects that we have completed this year!

Example 1

Number of Units: 136

Number of tenants: 444

Date Completed: 06/06/2013

Solution: As there was no centralised boiler system and only individual geysers, two new tanks were installed with 7 x 8.7 Kw heat pumps.
These had to be raised to the roof using a crane! This is the best place for the heat pumps as there is an abundance of ambient air.
Example 2

Number of Units : 220

Number of tenants : 660

Date Completed: 05/01/2013

Solution: To retrofit the existing boiler system with 8 x 8.7Kw heat pumps. This provides over 300Kw of heating capacity!
Example 3

Number of Floors: 20

Number of Units: 222

Date Completed: 11/05/2013
Solution: This site was under a huge renovation and the whole ring main was replaced with insolating PPR piping. This site required 12 x 8.7 Heat pumps as well as an additional 20 000liter storage tank which was added to the existing boiler system.
About Heat Pump Technology:
Heat pumps are widely used all over the world to heat water. Energy savings come about because it is more efficient to separate hot molecules from cold in a fluid medium (such as air) than it is to make the medium hotter by using direct heating, such as an electric heating element.

What is a Water Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a device that uses a compression vapour cycle, similar to that used in fridges and air conditioners to heat up some sort of fluid such as water. There are two main types of Heat Pumps – air to water and water to water. We will focus on air to water Heat Pumps. Simply put, the heat found in the air is transferred to the water through three key components – an evaporator, a condenser and a pump. The Heat Pump is therefore mounted in a well ventilated area where the heat exchange process can take place. Heat pumps are used in domestic, commercial and industrial applications and are accepted worldwide as the number one water heating technology (According to the French conference on energy efficiency). Heat Pumps are common in Europe, Asia and the Americas as energy efficient water heating devices. Due to their higher initial installation cost, they have not been as widely used on the African continent.

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