Heat Pumps

A heat-pump cycle is a sequence of operations in which the heat of condensation of a refrigerant is used for heating. The heat required to vaporize the refrigerant is taken from ambient air at the stage where the normal refrigeration cycle (Art. 13.22) usually rejects the heat. In the summer cycle, for cooling, the liquid refrigerant is arranged to flow to the cooling coil through an expansion valve, and the hot gas from the compressor is condensed as in the standard refrigeration cycle (Fig. 13.29).
During the heating season, the refrigerant gas is directed to the indoor (heating) coil by the use of multiport electric valves. The condensed liquid refrigerant is then directed to the condenser via an expansion valve and is evaporated. This method of heating is competitive with fuel-burning systems in warmer climates where the cooling plant can provide enough heat capacity during the winter season and where electric rates are low. In colder latitudes, the cooling plant, when used as a heat pump, is not large enough to maintain design indoor temperatures and is therefore not competitive with fuel-burning plants.
Other heat sources for heat pumps are well water or underground grid coils.
These installations usually call for a valve system permitting warm condenser water  to be piped to the air-handling unit for winter heating and the cold water from the  chiller to be pumped to the air-handling unit for summer cooling. In winter, the well water or the water in the ground coil is pumped through the chiller to evaporate the liquid refrigerant, while in the summer this water is pumped through the condenser.
Packaged units complete with controls are available for both air-to-air and airto- water use. Units are made as roof-top or grade-mounted units. Special built-up systems with large capacity have also been constructed.

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