New times. New toolkits. New possibilities.

Times are more challenging than ever for local heating technicians with the rise in new heat pump technologies and with changing energy supply government regulations. With recent announcements in some parts of Australia advising gas systems being banned, many eyes and hands will turn to heat pumps, solar hot water and solar panels, some of the alternatives to the traditional gas energy.

What is a heat pump and how does in work?

Heat pump is a special form of refrigeration system which heats and cools with the help of regenerative energy. It extracts heat from a source, such as the surrounding air, heat generated in the earth, or nearby sources of water or waste heat from a factory. It then intensifies the heat and transfers it to where it is needed.

It’s not a new concept and the global economic crisis in 1938 has given rise to initial attempts to develop economic heat pump systems for heating purposes, but then as oil prices fell in the 1950s and 60s the use of heat pumps has also reduced as a heating alternative. Following the establishment of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), the changes to crude oil supplies and corresponding price increases and the war between Iran and Iraq saw the resurgence, technological developments and increased use of heat pump systems. In Australia, awareness is being raised more recently of the benefits of new and economic heat pumps as a cheaper alternative to gas. It is a widely debated topic amongst those in the industry and it’s worth doing the research on the true value of the various heating systems.

Heat sources for Heat Pumps

The reason that heat pumps are so environment-friendly and cost-effective is that they use environmental heat. The heat pumps can acquire this environmental heat from the soil, the (ground)water or the air. This diversity makes it possible to find the right heat pump for every application.

When using the soil as a heat source, we are using the renewable energy that is stored in the ground. The temperature in the soil remains constant all year round.

The air is the most commonly used heat source because it is available everywhere and in unrestricted quantities. This makes fast, simple installation possible with little expenditure. 

The heat source of (ground) water offers optimal efficiency and generates the highest performance and annual output figures.​

To use groundwater as a heat source, authorisation must first be granted by the water authorities. Certain thresholds in relation to the water contents must be observed for quality assurance purposes and to prevent corrosion damage.

Key applications for heat pumps include:

  • Air-conditioning – an air-conditioner working reverse cycle mode is just a heat pump.
  • Water heating – Heat pumps can be used for heating water to warm up living space or for domestic hot water heating.
  • Industrial heat recovery – lower temperature waste heat is recycled to higher temperature heat.

For heat pumps to reliably provide sustainable heat, and for the heating curve to be right, they must be thoroughly checked using suitable measurement technology at regular service and maintenance intervals, therefore it makes sense to invest in a suitable manifold – the most important tool required for this kind of work.

The measurement parameters to measure heat pump system effectiveness however has not changed and they have become easier with technical developments. Testo have fully networked tools for heat pumps and heating systems. All measurements run hand in hand – and perfectly together in the Testo Smart World. With the new Testo heat pump kits, no wishes and measurement tasks remain unfulfilled and guaranteed to be up to date and perfectly adjusted to the modern heating world of today – and tomorrow. What do you think? Is it time for an upgrade in your toolbox?.

For more details on heat pumps and local requirements, check with your State’s Energy Regulators and Authorities and for more details on digital measuring instruments contact Testo or one of their Authorised dealers.