Types of Heat Pump

which type of heat pump is best for you?
types of heat pump

There are a variety of types of heat pump with the ability to heat and cool your home and/or hot water.

Significant savings can be achieved with heat pumps for hot water in both domestic and commercial applications, so we will take a closer look at the variations within those types of heat pump systems.


Air Source or Geothermal?

Air source heat pumps are the most popular style of water heat pump available in Australia.

There are also ground source heat pumps (also known as geothermal heat pumps) which use the stable temperature of the earth at a depth of 2-3 metres to provide a supply of ambient air which is warmer in winter than above ground air. For this reason they can be effective in very cold climates where air source heat pumps might lose efficiency, for example in Canada, Alaska or Northern Europe where winter temperatures below -10°C are commonplace.

Domestic style air source heat pump systems available in Australia have very few limitations, with heat pumps being suitable for operation in most weather conditions.  Many systems are designed to operate correctly at temperatures well below 0°C, some as low as -10°C.

The Australian Government’s Clean Energy Regulator has recently revised the number of STC’s allocated to manufacturer’s heat pump models to better reflect the performance of heat pumps in cool climate and frost prone areas, for example Canberra and Hobart; it also includes high altitude areas such as Armidale. These regions now are categorized as Climate Zone 5 areas.

Your Veraahdy advisor can recommend the right model for any climate zone in Australia or New Zealand, just have your postcode information when you call us on 1800 420 600.

Air source heat pump water heaters are water heaters which use compressors to collect latent heat from the air and transfer it to heat the water in the insulated storage tank;  they do not have panels on the roof.

The essence of their high efficiency is that electricity is only required to drive the compressor in the system rather than needing electricity to actually heat the water.

The heat energy taken from the air heats the refrigerant in the system, so in reality the heat pump is primarily a solar operated system, and can work at very high efficiencies in most conditions. It can transfer from 3 to 5 times the amount of heat for the amount of electrical energy used.

A modern heat pump like a Quantum, is capable of maintaining a maximum water temperature of approximately 60°C without any booster heating system.

Split System or Integrated?

There are two main configuration types of heat pump system available:


split system heat pump

Split Systems – the storage tank and heat pump are separated. They perform the same way, but as the distance between the units can be up to four metres it gives extra installation flexibility where required, or sometimes in hot climates the cool air which is expelled after its latent heat has been extracted by the heat pump is used for cooling purposes, so the heat pump unit might be located in a roof space.

Split systems require extra piping to connect the two parts of the system, which may slightly reduce efficiency and add marginally to cost, but give the electricity saving benefits even if the building design makes installation more challenging. Additionally, being a split system, the singular components are smaller and easy to carry and place.


integrated heat pump

Integrated Systems (sometimes called ‘packaged heat pumps’) - are most popular as they comes as a single unit with the heat pump and hot water storage tank combined. They are generally quicker and easier to install, although some combined units are weighty and awkward to manoeuvre. They are usually placed outside but can also be placed in a well ventilated garage or similar space so long as air flow around the unit is adequate.

Speak with one of our Veraahdy Heat Pump Specialists today and discuss which system is right for your free standing home, semi, duplex, townhouse or commercial premises.


Static or Dynamic Heat Transfer?

As you are aware there are integrated types of heat pump and split system types of heat pump, the main difference being that the heat pump unit is split from the water tank rather than being "bolted on" or integrated with it.

The heat exchange technology classes discussed here are common to both integrated or split systems.

The two classes of heat transfer technology used in hot water heat pump systems are: static-heating type or dynamic-heating type. These can also be described as refrigerant-cycle type or water-cycle type.

Static-Heating (Refrigerant-Cycle) Types of Heat Pump

Let's look into the static heating type first.

Once the refrigerant gas has been compressed and superheated, it passes through the pipework which connects the heat pump and the water tank together as a system.

The coiled copper pipe (condenser coil) sits in the water tank and the superheated refrigerant gas passes through it. The hot coiled copper pipe exchanges its heat with the water in the tank, thereby producing your hot water.

The water in the tank remains 'static'. The refrigerant loops in a circuit. The refrigerant travels through the evaporator, then compressor, then  condenser coil sitting in the water tank, then an expansion valve and back into the evaporator.

The heat transfer occurs within the water tank, as the condenser coil is immersed in the water contained in the water tank.

Dynamic-Heating (Water-Cycle) Types of Heat Pump

A dynamic-heating type heat pump transfers heat with the water within the heat pump unit, not within the water tank.

The water in the tank runs in a looping cycle through the heat pump unit, and the heat exchange takes place there and not in the water tank.

The water is 'dynamic', as opposed to 'static' as above.

As the heat transfer is done in the heat pump unit (not in the water tank like the static heating type) there are some safety and efficiency advantages.

As only water pipes connect the heat pump unit and the water tank, and not pipes containing refrigerant, the possibility for contamination by refrigerant leakage into the water tank is minimal.

Secondly, the heat transfer process itself is more efficient as the length of copper piping in the heat pump unit need only be very short compared to having a lengthy condenser coil sitting in the water tank.

In addition, should you want to put a heat pump unit onto your existing water storage tank, this now becomes possible.

So Which Technology is Best?

Overall, dynamic heating types of heat pump are superior technology in terms of safety and are more efficient methods of heat transfer. This means more hot water is produced for less cost. But static heating types are a little cheaper by a few hundred dollars.

The latest heat pump transfer technology - hybrid units where both the water and the refrigerant loop through the heat pump unit in dual layer piping giving truly remarkable efficiency.  Over the life of your system their superior performance means even greater savings of electricity, and with very fast boost-free water reheating times even in cold weather.

Veraahdy are the exclusive Australian distributor for these hybrid hot water heat pumps which are remarkably cost efficient performers. Highly recommended.

They are proving extremely popular in the United States and Europe. This unfortunately means that only a small number are being allocated to Australia from the global production run this year.

To avoid disappointment be sure to get on the waiting list ASAP, or place your order today to get closer to the front of the queue by filling out the Contact Us form.

For even faster service call us now on 1800 420 600


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