Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New heatpump for Europe

An EU group developed a design for a heatpump, compliant with new EU energy regulations. The prototype utilises a combination of novel components; testing showed the potential for retrofitting and the system's powerful, quiet operation.
New heatpump for Europe
European regulations require lowered energy usage and improved supply efficiency in various energy-consuming situations, including space heating. For that application, heatpump technology is the main contender, though future European usage patterns will require a new kind of heat pump.

Creating such a device was the mission of the HEATPUMP (Developing a 1.2 kW air-to-air single-room heat pump unit for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) project. The consortium developed a new type pump for single-zone application, being powerful (1.2 kW) but also quiet (35 dBA at 10 m). The venture also provided project members with the technologies to manufacture prototype or demonstration units.

The project's heat pump combined a fan with the condenser and evaporator, giving a compact design using one motor, although requiring the unit to rotate. The device could be retrofitted, and provided local control of heating, cooling and ventilation. The units were designed for single-zone use, but could be wirelessly arrayed to give an optimised multi-zone system. The HEATPUMP design is also low cost and adaptable to many applications, including residential.

Prototype one was found to be unsuitable for further development, and three alternative designs were developed and modelled. Candidates included a new, more efficient variable-speed drive motor.

Testing of the motor yielded an optimised, variable-speed device. Other testing involved the compressor, which had an unsatisfactory pressure ratio. The team chose two of four candidate heat exchangers, the most compact of which was manufactured and tested. Results revealed a need for further refinement.

Apart from technical work, the project undertook a market survey aimed at members of several heatpump trade associations. This stage helped tailor the final product to customer needs.

HEATPUMP developed an almost-complete prototype. The final product should be efficient, cheap and quiet; being compliant with European regulations means a step towards energy reduction targets.

Related information

Keywords

Heatpump, energy, space heating, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning
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