Heat pumps can be divided into two main types, namely:
- Ground Source Heat Pumps, and
- Air source Heat Pumps
Ground source heat pumps transfer heat from the ground into a building providing space heating and in some cases domestic hot water. Typical statistics indicate that for every unit of electricity used to run the system, 3-4 units of heat are produced.
There are three main elements to a ground source heat pump:
- A ground loop which is a length of pipe (vertical or horizontal) laid in the ground within which a mixture of water and antifreeze is pumped which absorbs the surrounding heat;
- A heat pump which removes the captured heat from the ground loop delivering it to the heat distribution system, and
- The heat distribution system, consisting of under floor heating or radiators for space heating and in some cases water storage for hot water.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps work by absorbing external heat to warm internal accommodation.
There are two types of air-source heating systems available, namely:
- Air-to-air systems that provide internal warm air ducted through the building, and
- Air-to-water systems providing the heating to a building through radiators or an under floor system.