Heat pumps are increasingly often the climate-friendly alternative to oil-fired heating: By means of a climate-friendly refrigerant as well as Diehl Controls inverter technology, not only a continuously variable heat pump control is possible but also a low-noise and energy-efficient operation.
"The energy turnaround has begun and fossil fuels are more and more replaced by regenerative energy carriers," says Carsten Wolff, CEO of Diehl Controls. "In particular, heat pumps in combination with photovoltaic solar power plants are a climate-friendly alternative to conventional heat generation. And it is our inverter technology that is providing valuable service to allow for a continuously variable heat pump control and an energy-efficient and low-noise operation.
Inverter technology for heat pumps
In order to adjust the inverter technology at best to the requirements of heat pumps, Diehl Controls develops individual solutions in close cooperation with its customers. A decisive factor is the understanding of the physical principle underlying the heat pump: the Carnot cycle. Almost 200 years ago, the Frenchman Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot described the thermodynamics that are still breathing technical life into refrigerators and air conditioning systems. The refrigerant is heated by environmental energy from air, earth or water. Environmental energy contributes more than three quarters of the heating power at no cost and the rest of the energy is added by electricity. Heat pumps can be operated completely without fossil fuels thanks to the fact that electric energy can be gained regeneratively via sun, wind or water.
The cycle of climate-friendly heat
Climate-friendly refrigerants have a GWP value (Global Warming Potential) of less than 150 and thus are ten times more climate-friendly than the refrigerant fluid R410A used to date. Diehl Controls is one of the few companies worldwide to already have developed an optimized and authorized inverter platform for the use of such refrigerants. The inverter technology guarantees safe and efficient operation of heat pumps and continuously regulates their core piece – the compressor. It allows the compression of the refrigerant whereby the higher pressure implies an increase in temperature. At this point of the cyclic process, a heat exchanger transfers the energy to the heating system and the refrigerant liquefies in the condenser. A valve allows the depressurization of the liquid refrigerant and it becomes gaseous once again. As a result, it cools down excessively and the temperature drops far below the environmental energy. Now, once more, the gas is heated up by the natural energy sources air, water or earth and the cycle for a climate-friendly heat starts again.
Efficient all year long by means of speed control
Thanks to the inverter technology, heat pumps dispose of a continuously variable regulation which significantly reduces the energy consumption in comparison to an intermittent operation. In contrast to intermittent operation, where heat pumps are switched on and off repeatedly, the individually adjusted Diehl solution continuously controls the compressor and thus achieves a considerably higher efficiency.
"Already today, companies use our inverter technology in order to develop heat pumps efficiently and climate-friendly,” adds Carsten Wolff. "But not only heat pumps profit from our inverter, but also air conditioning systems, refrigerators or cooling shelves. The electronic heart of the Diehl inverter technology always beats reliably there, where heat or cold are required."