Everything You Need to Know About Chiller-Heat pump
In this article, we will discuss a type of heat pump called a “chiller-heat pump.”
A heat pump is a refrigeration machine that can operate in both cold and hot modes. It operates on the principle of compression cooling, like most equipment of this kind. Typically, this unit is designed to condense the refrigerant, cool it, and lower the pressure in the system.
There are two types of heat pumps with chillers:
- “Reversible (Two-Pipe) Heat Pump” – it can operate in heating or cooling modes. The mode switching occurs by reversing the refrigeration cycle. This is achieved through a four-way valve. In simple terms, during the cooling function, heat is extracted from the liquid in the heat exchanger, the refrigerant-liquid (evaporator), and released into the heat exchanger, the refrigerant-air (condenser). During the heating function, the cycle is switched, heat is extracted through the heat exchanger, the refrigerant-air, and released into the heat exchanger, the refrigerant-liquid.
2. “Four-Pipe Heat Pump” – unlike the “two-pipe” type, it can simultaneously operate in heating and cooling modes. The distinctive feature of such chillers is the presence of an additional heat exchanger, hence the name “four-pipe” with two pipes for cooling and two for heating. There is also a refrigerant-air heat exchanger that switches in different directions depending on the required operating modes.
It can be concluded that the “four-pipe” chiller-heat pump is more versatile and efficient in operation. It can work in various modes:
- Cooling only
- Heating only
- Mixed (cooling + heating)
In the mixed mode, the “four-pipe heat pump” achieves its maximum efficiency because the energy used for cooling is not wasted but utilized for useful heating.