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Absorption heat pump?

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Posted by Bruce Richmond on February 9, 2008, 11:22 pm
Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of one.  Seems like a
reasonable idea.  Works just like an absorption fridge except put the
cool outside and the hot inside.  All the waste heat would go toward
heating the house, as would the heat from the coil.  The cooling
circuit could cool the air outside in mild climates or the ground in
cold climates, making it a geothermal heat pump.


Posted by Anthony Matonak on February 9, 2008, 11:50 pm
Bruce Richmond wrote:

I haven't but I'm certainly no expert. I can think of a couple of
reasons why they might not be popular.

Most folks need heat in the winter when there is less solar energy
available to start with. It's also cheaper to build a larger, simple,
solar air heater than to build a solar powered heat pump with a
slightly smaller collector.


Posted by Alex Chiani on February 10, 2008, 9:50 am

I'm a great fan of absorption heat pump systems, too. A Swedish company is
developing a such machine :


" a solar powered climate system can fully meet the heating and cooling
requirements of a residential house...hot water is the energy source for the
air conditioners, which hence use only an absolute minimum of electricity.
It is thus also possible to use hot water from district heating or
co-generation to power the systems "

Two main applications are envisaged: solar thermal plants and where
operated, district heating networks, both are able to produce hot water at
the right temperatures (about 90 C degrees) to power the machine

Moreover, the machine achieves, based on a 25 m^2 of solar thermal plant
installed, an electrical COP of 77 (heat produced / electricity in) and a
thermal efficiency of 68% (% heat or cooling produced / heat in) in cooling
mode (10 to 20 kW of capacity) and, respectively, 96 and 85% (25 kW of
thermal power) in the heating mode.
What do you think about? I'd like to see more data on how efficient and
costly this heat pump is when compared with traditional compression heat
pumps before coming up with any opinion or conclusion on it

Posted by Bruce Richmond on February 10, 2008, 4:24 pm
I think if I had a source of 90 C water to power it I could heat my
house with that and forget about the heat pump :-)

Posted by Alex Chiani on February 10, 2008, 6:23 pm


The main feature is cooling using low temperature heat, not just heating, if
the thermal COP in heating mode is less than 1.
Bear in mind that it's in summer times we mostly need conditioning and just
in hot days solar thermal has the max output production

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