In addition to heating and hot water preparation, the heat pump is the only heat generator that enables simple cooling without much additional effort. While “cooling” with heat pumps is already common in countries such as the Estonia, it is not yet established in other European countries.
The topics at a glance
How does cooling with heat pumps work?
Passive cooling with heat pumps
Active cooling with heat pumps
Advantages of cooling with heat pumps
How does cooling with a heat pumps work?
Whether for new construction or a renovation, the unique technology of the heat pump allows cooling in summer. Instead of distributing hot water through your heating system like heating, the heat pump cools down the water in the heating system and passes “cold” water through it instead. Cooling with radiators is not suitable due to the small surface area. However, the room can be pleasantly cooled via surface heating systems, such as floor, wall or ceiling heating.
TYPES OF COOLING WITH A HEAT PUMP
Basically, a distinction must be made between two forms of cooling with the heat pump: active cooling and passive cooling.
PASSIVE COOLING WITH HEAT PUMP
The “passive cooling” of brine-to-water heat pumps is a very cost-effective way of using the low temperatures in the ground to cool rooms in summer in a pleasant and environmentally friendly way. Excess heat is extracted from the rooms and dissipated into the ground.
The existing heating surfaces, such as floor, wall or ceiling heating, can be used as cooling surfaces. This lets you create your personal comfortable climate in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way, with gentle temperature control and no annoying drafts.
With this natural cooling, the heat pump is switched off, except for regulation and circulation pumps. Only a small amount of electricity is used for the circulation pumps to tap the ground cooling source and the heating system. Through reduced operation and the use of environmental energy, passive cooling offers a particularly environmentally friendly solution with low operating costs. A favorable side effect is also that the ground can be regenerated by the supplied heat, which leads to an improvement in overall efficiency.
Ait-Nord has recognized the trend towards environmentally friendly cooling and offers a broad heat pump portfolio specifically for passive cooling. Furthermore, special cooling packages are available for retrofitting to some brine-to-water heat pumps.
ACTIVE COOLING WITH HEAT PUMPS
We simply turn the system around: “active cooling”. So-called reversible air/water heat pumps offer the possibility of actively cooling rooms by reversing the process, i.e. by reversing the mode of operation – “cooling” instead of “heating”.
Reversible cooling is, therefore, the same as the refrigerator we are all familiar with and its operation. A heat pump and a refrigerator are physically identical and basically have the same components. The only difference between the two is the benefit. To be able to actively cool with a heat pump, it must have a reversible refrigeration cycle, as well as some additional components. As with an air conditioner, heat is then extracted from the room.
If you decide on a heat pump with active cooling, you should expect somewhat higher investment costs than with a heat pump without a “cooling function”. The energy input for active cooling is also higher compared to passive cooling. In return, however, higher cooling capacities can be achieved and the rooms can be pleasantly “cooled” on hot days. A plus for living comfort.
Prerequisites for cooling with a heat pump
The right heating system in the house is crucial for active and passive cooling with a heat pump. Wall heating, floor heating or fan coils are recommended. Radiators are unsuitable for use, due to their small coverage area.
Choosing the right heat pump is also an important criterion, because not every heat pump can cool or be retrofitted. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify in advance whether the heat pump meets these requirements.
Advantages of cooling with heat pump
A climate-friendly alternative to air conditioning through the use of renewable energy.
With passive cooling, the operating costs are very low, since only the control and the circulation pump of the heat pump are in operation.
Living spaces can be cooled quickly with active cooling on hot summer days.
When cooling with a heat pump, there are no annoying drafts. At the same time it cools the home gently and continuously
Low operating costs: a heat pump requires only a small amount of electricity to cool rooms in summer..
Cooling with a heat pump is very environmentally friendly
While an air conditioner requires permanent electricity for its operation in summer, the heat pump mainly uses environmental energy, which is available free of charge and is inexhaustible. In the process, it requires only a small amount of electricity and works much more efficiently than an air conditioner. A particularly environmentally friendly way to cool with a heat pump is passive cooling, because here only the control and the circulation pumps are active.