02 March 2010

Challenging future of heat pumps

Air, ground and waste-source heat pumps recover pollution-free energy from surrounding air, earth and low-grade industrial waste heat. They save primary energy and lower power demand for space heating and cooling, and for domestic hot water heating, with high utilization factors and coefficients of performance. Because about 30% of global worldwide carbon emissions are from buildings’ heating and cooling systems, future regulations will require their drastic reduction while converting the residential and commercial buildings into low energy constructions. During the next decades, the buildings’ owners will certainly use more and more heat pumps among other energy efficiency devices. A 30% of heat pump retrofit market penetration by 2030 may reduce by up to 8% the total global CO2 emissions. In the context of the announced global energy crisis, the R&D and technological activities aiming at developing the next generation of heat pumps are multiple and very challenging.