What are heat pumps?

Heat pumps are a well-known technology and are been widely used not only for heating but also for cooling. They are mechanical devices that transfer heat by extracting low-grade heat from any source and then upgrades the heat to deliver it at a high temperature.

Heat pumps are usually more/less similar to refrigeration cycles. Though much of the technology is based on refrigerators, the primary aim of heat pumps is to provide heating, although reverse cycle heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling. Since they are used in recovering waste heat and to raise its temperature to more useful levels they have significant potential for saving energy.

The applications of heat pumps can be classified under two categories

  • Residential applications
  • Industrial applications


Residential applications

Residential have found to be a successful location to implement the popular application of heat pumps where a large variety of systems exist, depending in part on

1) Whether they are intended for both heating and cooling or only heating.

2) The nature of the low/medium temperature heat source for distributing heat (cold) to the building (air, water, etc.)


Based on their operational functions, Heat pumps are classified into four main categories.

1) Heating-only heat pumps – Space heating/ water heating applications

2) Heating and cooling heat pumps – both space heating and cooling applications

3) Integrated heat pump systems – space heating and cooling, water heating, and sometimes exhaust air heat recovery

4) Heat pump water heaters – water heating

There are hundreds of thousands of heat pumps sold each year. The vast majority of these are air and water-source pumps fitted to individual homes.

It is said that in single-family and terraced houses using high-performance insulation instead of minimum insulation, reduced electricity power need by 31…36% for AWHP and by 23…30% for GSHP. Comparing apartment buildings with minimum insulation level and high-performance insulation level, the total power need decreased by -25% with AWHP and -21% with GSHP.


Industrial applications

industrial heat pumps

Deploying heat pumps is no more a choice if you belong to any one of the following industries:

Paper industry

At production, paper making emits CO2 and results in high carbon emission. Heat pumps could help in minimum carbon emission and thus in achieving sustainability.  So, if you are into pulp/paper/lumber manufacturing, then heat pumps can help you in the concentration of black liquor, water heating, flash-steam recovery, and product drying.

Food and beverages

Heat pumps in the food industry can save your costs spent on gas. To your food and beverage industry, heat pumps help in the process of beer brewing and to concentrate waste beer. Not only to concentrate waste beer but also to concentrate liquid products in the dairy industry. Heat pumps in the food and beverage industry are not only a source of cost-saving but are also an environment-friendly resource.

Chemical industry

The use of heat pumps in the chemical industry has become a hot topic in the past few years due to the limitation of fossil fuels and the need to contribute towards a sustainable future. In the manufacturing of chemical salts, heat pumps are your savior in the process of concentrating salt solutions and in the treatment of the effluent process.

Rotation heat pumps find a very advantageous and efficient application when the production process in the chemical industry requires hot water with cool water being used as a source, conventional heat pumps can’t help industries in achieving this. Instead of generating heat and cold separately, a rotation heat pump is used.

rotational heat pumps

Automotive and mechanical industry

Heat pumps also help in the Drying and molding process in the automotive industry.

Drying processes used in many industries use the ambient air with the help of the rotation heat pump to raise the air temperature for industrial drying and simultaneously cool ambient air for another process thus allowing the waste heat from other processes to be used just as well.

Textile industry

Heat pumps are useful in textile industry for the purposes of

  • wash water heating
  • space heating
  • concentration of dilute dope stream.

Metal industry

Heat pumps are very efficient in the Metal industry for

  • Chromating
  • degreasing
  • drying
  • electroplating
  • pickling
  • phosphating
  • purging.

Wood Industry

Your Wood industry can find heat pumps to be beneficial in the process of cooking, drying, glueing, pickling, pressing, staining, and steaming.

Other than these, heat pumps also find to be useful in pharma industry, drinking water processing, steam stripping, electroplating industries, district heating, and solvent recovery.


Hope you are just one step behind  to install heat pumps

Here’s the checklist to finalize your decision

Identification– Identify your heat consuming process – medium/temperature/power

Direct heat exchange–  Direct heat exchange is possible for waste heat flows with higher temperatures than their potential users. So, you don’t need a heat pump.

Using a heat pump – If waste heat flows temperature is less than the recommended heat temperature, consumers do not offer a possibility for direct heat exchange.  At this point, It may then be an interesting option to upgrade the temperature level using heat pumps.