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BASIC HEAT PUMP THEORY INTRO ( basic-heat-pump-theory-intro )

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INTRODUCTION BASIC HEAT PUMP THEORY By: Lloyd A. Mullen By: Lloyd G. Williams Service Department, York Division, Borg-Warner Corporation In recent years air conditioning industry technology has advanced rapidly. An important byproduct of this growth has been development of the heat pump. Altogether too much mystery has surrounded operations of the heat pump cycle, and as a result the average refrigeration service engineer has little knowledge of what goes on within these units. The purpose of this section is to provide a basic understanding of heat pump theory and a more practical approach to the solution of problems which arise in conjunction with heat pump operation. WHAT IS A HEAT PUMP? Basically a heat pump is any machine that pumps heat. As an example, a typical refrigeration circuit of an air conditioner, can, by tracing the refrigerant flow, be classified as a heat pump. ANALYSIS OF HEAT PUMP THEORY An analysis would start at the evaporator where cold liquid is changed into a gas as it picks up heat from room air passing over the coil. Cool gas from evaporator then flows to the compressor, where it is compressed and hot gas containing heat of compression and heat of vaporization is pumped to the condenser where heat is removed by outdoor air passing over it. Thus heat has been pumped from evaporator to condenser. If this hypothetical air conditioner was constructed so that evaporator or indoor coil became the condenser or outdoor coil and vice versa, it could be used to both heat and cool. Several early attempts were made to do this. First, rotating the unit and second, altering flow of air through the unit so that heated air was directed into room and cooled air directed out-doors. Both of these methods left much to be desired and necessitated development of a more economical and practical method. This was accomplished by adding valves and by-pass piping in the refrigerant circuit, making it possible to direct the flow of refrigerant through indoor and outdoor coils so that either heating or cooling is achieved as desired. A result of design effort is illustrated in Figure 26F02 which shows a system with four valves installed in the circuit. By closing valves 2 and 3, and opening valves 1 and 4, the unit will operate as a cooling unit. By reversing the procedure — opening valve 2 and 3 and closing valves 1 and 4 the unit will operate as a heating unit. Service Application Manual SAM Chapter 620-54 Section 18 1



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