Heat Pumps

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a device projected both for heating and cooling a building, as well for sanitary hot water production.

Can be installed in sinergy with a boiler and a photovoltaic plant.

Technology is based on an external environmental heat source: air, water or soil.

The most common heat pumps are the electric ones, available in four different version: air-air, air-water, water-air and water-water. The first term is the energy source while the second term is the way heat or cool or sanitary water are distributed inside the building.

How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump is made up of four main components:

• compressor

• condenser

• expansion valve

• evaporator

linked each other by copper pipes in a closed circuit in which a refrigerant fluid flows.

The refrigerant cycle fluid is responsible for transferring and trasporting the heat.

In details:

- the heat pump compresses the refrigerant to make it hotter on the side to be warmed, and releases the pressure at the side where heat is absorbed;

- the working fluid, in its gaseous state, is cooled in a heat exchanger, called a condenser, until it condenses into a high pressure, moderate temperature liquid;

- the condensed refrigerant then passes through an expansion valve which is a pressure-lowering device;

- the low pressure liquid refrigerant then enters another heat exchanger, the evaporator, in which the fluid absorbs heat and boils changing his state. The refrigerant then returns to the compressor and the cycle is repeated.

Most common heat pumps are air-air whose components can be separated in two linked units: one to be put in the outdoor and the other one for internal placement.

Why should I install a heat pump?

The main advantage in installing a heat pump is related to the ability it has to produce more heating or cooling energy  than the one needed for its functioning.

The efficiency of a heat pump is measured by the C.O.P. (Coefficient Of Performance) which is the relation between the provided energy and the one needed to make it works.

C.O.P. varies according to the kind of heat pump and the working conditions and has generally a value around 3 which means: each kWh of electric energy consumed will provide 3 kWh of heating, or cooling, energy.

Do heat pumps exist in several power?

Yes. At present several heat pumps power are on the market:

  • low potency power (up to 2 kW):  suitable for one-roomed flat and for sanitary water heating;

  • medium potency power (up to 20 kW): suitable to serve more rooms;

  • high potency power (over 20 kW): suitable for more flats, offices and stores.

Are tax deductions provided for heat pumps installation?

Yes. Law by decree No.83 June 22nd 2012, better known as “Growing decree”, converted in Law No.134 August 12 2012, fixed a rise in percentage from 36% to 50% for renovations, and an increase in maximum admitted renovation costs from 48.000 to 96.000 euros. Valid until June 30th 2013.

Same law also established that for existent buildings, 55% tax deductions for energy requalification works had to be extended to the same date.