Aerothermia ¿What is it, how does it work?
November 30, 2020
Technological advances provide new ways to save energy, and here it comes to understand how aerothermia works and what advantages it will provide us in a facility that we practice at home. Whether for air conditioning, heating or ACC (Air Conditioning) and what electrical savings it will bring us.
The shaft of an aerothermal system is a machine known as a heat pump. It will be in charge of harnessing the energy of the air to convert it to the desired temperature and boosting it through the system that will distribute this air throughout the house.
There are several types of heat pumps, with air-to-air pumps being the most common in houses. The most common case in aerothermia installations is air-water typology. In addition, there are other types such as water-water, which take heat from water, as well as geothermal heat pumps, which harness water energy rather than air energy.
The concept of aerothermia is based on a technology that extracts energy contained in the outside air thanks to a pump system. The equipment can extract up to 75% energy from the air we find in the atmosphere and thus reduce the use of electricity for the equipment, using only 25%.
These aerothermal equipment function as a standard and traditional heat pump but, it offers three different possibilities in the same installation; we will have heating in winter and cooling in summer, like hot water all year round.
Is aerothermia a renewable energy?
Yes. Renewable energies are those obtained from inexhaustible natural sources, such as wind, sun and, in this case, air heat. Aerothermia is included in the renewable energy group.
How does aerothermia work?
Aerothermia works based on the principles of thermodynamics: transporting air heat (thermal energy) from one environment to another. Through a heat pump, the existing thermal energy is recovered from the air and passed through a circuit full of refrigerant in which a temperature exchange occurs.
In this circuit, the refrigerant changes from gas to liquid state with the help of a compressor. The gas during this process gives its temperature to the air or to a hot water circuit when circulating through the exchanger. This exchanger will be responsible for transmitting the energy generated to the heating circuit and sanitary hot water of your home.
Types of pumps used
Depending on how they perform heat transfer, we can distinguish between five types of heat pumps:
The heat that is taken from the air is transferred directly to the air of the premises or the room to be heated (basically, it would be the operation of a conventional air conditioning system).
The heat that is extracted from the outside air is transferred to an internal water circuit distributed by floor, ceiling, radiators, depending on the heating system that we have at home. These heat pumps can be bibloc (consisting of two units, one exterior -compressor- and one interior – hydrokit-, connected to each other by the appropriate connections, the hydrokit being the one that distributes the heat energy) or monobloc (formed by a team, heat pump at the top and a water accumulation tank at the bottom). TESY heat pumps are monobloc, thus optimizing the space and costs of installation.
Water-water heat pumps exchange heat with both the outside and the inside using a water circuit. In heating mode, they take heat from an outdoor water circuit (e.g. a lake, river or subsurface) and produce hot water in the interior circuit to indirectly heat through fan coils, radiators, under floor heating, etc.
The heat extracted from the water (lake, river, and aquifer) is transferred inland by propelling hot air in heating mode. In cooling mode, heat is transferred to the outside water circuit, producing cold air inside directly.
The main difference of this type of heat pumps from the rest is the use of the terrain of the installation environment as a source of heat, in heating mode, or as a heat sink, in cooling mode. This operation is performed through a carrier lime fluid that absorbs energy from the ground and transmits it to the cold circuit of the heat pump.
Uses of aerothermia
Aerothermia has multiple uses from single-family homes and chalets to large neighborhood communities that require a lot of thermal energy.
Thanks to it, we can from controlling the interior temperature of a house, either for heating in winter or cooling in summer, producing sanitary hot water (ACS) by accumulation in a reservoir or even heating the water of a pool.
- It is the most efficient heating, as it is the one that consumes the least. By moving this to an invoice, aerothermal heating would be 25% cheaper than gas heating.
- You won’t need a gas, coal or diesel contract, as you’ll be able to heat the water and have heating without boiler or combustion.
- It can be used in both winter and summer thanks to its cooling system.
- Your initial cost is amortized in approximately 2 or 3 years.
- Saving on the electricity bill. If your current heating is electric, you’ll save on your bill, as aerothermia consumes less electrical energy (kWh) than other electric heating systems.
- It is a safer system than traditional boilers.
- It hardly needs maintenance.
- Renewable and sustainable energy
- An average heat pump generates emissions of 71gr CO2/kWh, while the average of a natural gas boiler is 215 grCO2/kW
- The initial disbursement is higher than for all other facilities, but compensates with savings in consumption.
- Space is needed outside the house to place the compressor.
- In very cold areas, with long periods of below-zero temperature, performance may be affected. In this case you will need to consume a higher percentage of electrical energy.
- To make it as efficient as possible it is necessary to have under floor heating or, if not, low temperature radiators, which can be a higher cost or a great work in the house.