What Is Water Source Heat Pump?

 Along with air and ground, water forms another source of energy for heat pumps. Water source heat pumps work on the same principles of air or ground source heat pumps, the only difference being they take advantage of the more or less consistent temperature that is found in the different water bodies. In case of water source heat pumps, a series of flexible pipes gets submerged within the lake, pond or river. Once that is done the heat pump pushes the fluid through the network of piping and the fluid has the capacity to absorb heat from the surrounding water.

 After the heat gets absorbed by the fluid it then gets compressed by an electric compressor just like it happens in other kinds of heat pumps. A heat ex changer can also be used to remove the heat completely from the working fluid and provide people with hot water which in turn can be used for space heating. This hot water can also be plumbed into the hot water system of a house where the boiler can further heat it up at a temperature required for showers and other purposes. A complete cycle in case of water source heat pumps take place when after the entire heat removal from the fluid it is pumped back through the pipework.

 Some of the advantages of the water source heat pumps are the following:

The rate of heat transfer from water is higher than from other sources like the ground or the air. Moreover, the constant flow of the water provides a continual source of energy.

Water source heat pumps do not require digging of large trenches as required by ground source heat pumps. As a result, the installation cost is also lesser in such heat pumps.

Another important advantage of water source heat pump is that the return temperature to the heat pump is usually higher than the ground or the average winter air temperature. As a result the coefficient of performance (CoP) increases.

 Water source heat pumps can have sources like lakes, ponds, rivers, springs, wells, or boreholes. And the system can be classified into two types. They are the open loop and the closed loop. Both these systems have their own advantages and disadvantages.

 In case of open loop systems water is extracted from the source flowed around the heat pumps intermediate heat ex changer and is then discharged. The closed loop to some extent is similar to the ground source in the sense where both pipes and heat ex changer are placed within the water source and an antifreeze passes through the pipes that absorbs energy from the water.

The closed loop system seems a better choice when compared to the open loop system. This is because in case of open loop system there are risks that the water contains unwanted particles which may cause health issues. Hence, there is an additional engineering challenge to deal with this problem.

Last but not the least, judicious use of these heat pumps will surely reap benefits for the user.



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