n Farmer’s Weekly - Improved efficiency with heat pumps : energy efficiency & optimisation

Volume 2016, Issue 16020
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



The hot water cylinder (geyser) is often fingered as the largest consumer of energy in a home. The Eskom website claims that it is responsible for as much as 60% of monthly consumption. However, there is a readily available alternative to the hot water cylinder: the heat pump. A heat pump works on the principle of reverse cycle heating. Think of an air conditioner as a device that removes heat from a room, and rejects this heat outside. A heat pump does exactly the opposite: it removes heat from the outside and rejects it into the water. And because the heating is achieved through a refrigeration process rather than electrical resistance,it is more efficient. The coefficient of performance (COP) for a hot water cylinder is 1, whereas the COP for a heat pump is around 3. This means that there are 3kW of heating for every 1kW of cooling. A heat pump should be installed in a well-ventilated area, and the piping should be well insulated. Beware of fly-by-night suppliers; rather spend a bit more on purchasing a product from a reputable supplier.

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