Heat Pump

A reversible heat engine that acts as a furnace in winter and an air conditioner in summer.

The heat pump cycle.

The sun warms the air and the ground resulting in a large store of ambient heat energy. This heat energy is at low temperatures compared to that required to heat homes and workplaces. A heat pump moves this heat to higher temperatures by operating on the same principle as domestic refrigerators, except in this case the outside air or ground is being cooled. When run in reverse heat pumps can provide air-conditioning to cool the inside of buildings in summer. There are two main types:

See also: Air Source Heat Pump, Coefficient of Performance, Ground Source Heat Pump, Heat Engine.

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Subjects: Thermodynamics