Heat exchangers are key components in heat pump systems, influencing the system's performance, stability, refrigerant charge, overall size, and longevity. In times of transition from fossil fuels towards more sustainable measures, this calls for smart and efficient solutions for heating and cooling commercial buildings and homes.
Heat pumps are essential to electrify and decarbonize the heating of households
Heat pumps transform renewable energy from the ambient air, ground, or water to useful heat for comfort heating and hot tap water. The most common heat pump technology employs a very efficient refrigeration cycle that typically delivers 3 to 5 times more useful energy than is absorbed in driving the compressor. Some heat pumps are reversible, which means that they can provide heating in winter and cooling in summer as well as defrost mode.
With a major technological shift underway, replacing high Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants such as R410A, R407C etc, with new environmentally friendly natural refrigerants, we work closely with customers and other component suppliers aiming to replace high GWP refrigerants with natural or newly developed low GWP alternatives.
Image description: Refrigeration cycle of heat pumps
- Pure gas leaves the evaporator at low pressure and low temperature. The gas is compressed to high pressure and high temperature in the compressor.
- An electrically powered compressor is used to drive the flow of refrigerant from low to high pressure.
- Gas from the compressor enters the condenser and condenses to liquid. The refrigerant emits energy to the ambient media at high pressure and high temperature.
- The liquid from the condenser goes through an expansion valve where the pressure and temperature decrease. At the same time, the gas content increases, creating a mixture of liquid and gas.
As a world-leading brazed plate heat exchangers supplier of versatile heat exchangers for applications including heat pumps, we are constantly developing and adapting our solutions in applications that in the past required the use of synthetic refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC).
Maximize the efficiency of the condensing operation
We offer a wide range of brazed plate heat exchangers with a long thermal length, which helps to maximize the efficiency of the condensing operation. With the double-wall technology heat exchangers provide extra safety, for example when the refrigerant circuit heats tap water directly. Double wall technology gives that extra safety of avoiding leakage where liquids must not mix yet maintains the compactness and thermal efficiency of the heat exchanger.
Our heat exchangers can fulfill several vital functions for heat pumps including:
- High-performing condensers with decreased refrigerant charge, footprint, and pressure drop thanks to innovative asymmetric design.
- Evaporators for variable- and fixed-speed compressors with excellent performance during reversible mode with distribution device and smaller footprint.
- Double wall technology ensuring high efficiency and safety avoiding leakage where liquids must not mix, without compromising compactness and thermal efficiency of the heat exchanger.
- Sealix® is a revolutionary SiO₂-based thin-film technology that increases corrosion resistance, decreases the tendency for scaling, and increases durability. A protective layer is applied to all surfaces that come into contact with water to increase the lifetime and operational safety of the entire system, reducing maintenance costs and unplanned downtime.
- AsyMatrix® is SWEP's innovative asymmetric plate design technology for brazed plate heat exchangers. The asymmetric channel configuration smartly combines maximum heat transfer on the refrigerant side with minimum pressure drop on the secondary side. The increased energy efficiency and better use of the structural material compared with conventional heat exchangers deliver a more sustainable solution in suitable applications.
Different types of heat pumps
Air-to-water heat pumps
In air-to-water heat pumps, heat is taken from outside air and used as a heat source in a water-based system to evaporate the refrigerant. The created heat can then be used for comfort heating or to heat tap water. Air-to-water heat pumps are gaining ground as efficient all-year-round heating systems with low energy cost, reduced carbon footprint, and low maintenance requirements.
An air-to-water heat pump.
Ground source heat pumps
The ground source heat pump (GSHP) uses the energy stored in the bedrock, surface soil, or water as the heat source for the evaporator. Our brazed plate heat exchanger evaporators have optimized distribution devices to ensure the best possible efficiency in GSHP evaporator duties.
A ground source heat pump.
Domestic hot water heat pumps
In the past, domestic hot water was only a small part of a building’s total energy demand. As the insulation quality of buildings increases, space heating demand drops. At the same time, hot water usage increases. The ratio between energy requirements for space heating and domestic hot water consumption calls for new solutions with unrivaled performance and efficiency.
A domestic hot water heat pump.