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Various Components of the Heat Pump - Part 1

written by: Haresh Khemani • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 11/22/2008

There are four important components of the heat pump: compressor, condenser, expansion valve and the evaporator. In the refrigerator the evaporator performs the most important function of cooling or freezing, but in heat pump the condenser performs the most important function of heating the room.

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    The components of the heat pumps are same as the refrigerator or the air conditioner, the only difference is that they work in a reverse manner. Hence the heat pump is also called reverse refrigerator. There are four important components of the heat pump: compressor, condenser, expansion valve and the evaporator. In the refrigerator and air conditioner the evaporator performs the most important function of cooling or freezing, but in heat pump the condenser performs the most important function of heating the room.

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    Refrigerant

    Along with the four vital components of the heat pump its another equally important part is the refrigerant. The refrigerant used in the heat pump cycle is same as the refrigerant used in the refrigerator or the air conditioner. Some of the most commonly used refrigerants are the chlorofluorohydrocarbons though a number of other alternative refrigerants have also been discovered.

    The refrigerant continuously flows through compressor, condenser, expansion valve and the evaporator in a closed cycle. It is the refrigerant that carries the heat from atmosphere which is at low temperature and delivers it to the room, which is to be maintained at high temperature.

    All the problems and the environmental concerns caused by the chlorofluorohydrocarbons used in the refrigerators and air conditioners are also caused by the chlorofluorohydrocarbons used in the heat pumps. The chlorofluorohydrocarbons have the tendency to destroy the ozone layer in the atmosphere and cause greenhouse effect.

    However, the total number of heat pumps being used in the entire world is much lesser compared to air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers, hence they have not yet received much attention as regards to their potential to release ozone layer depleting gases in the atmosphere. However, just like the other chlorofluorohydrocarbons, whose production has to be totally stopped in phased manner, the production of the refrigerants used for the heat pumps is also slated to be stopped in the similar manner.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the devices that are used for heating the room. The heat pump consumes less power than the electric room heater, however their initial cost is high. This series of article describes the various parts of heat pump, its working and comparison to refrigerator and air conditioner.
  1. What is Heat Pump?
  2. Difference between Heat Pumps and Refrigerators
  3. Various Components of the Heat Pump - Part 1
  4. Various Components of the Heat Pump - Part 2
  5. Various Components of the Heat Pump - Part 3
  6. Various Components of the Heat Pump: Part 4
  7. Coefficient of Performance of the Heat Pumps
  8. Difference between the Heat Pump and the Air-Conditioner