Aerothermy; What is it, how does it work, advantages and disadvantages - Green Ecologist

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What is aerothermy and how does it work

Technological advances provide new ways to save energy, and this is where understanding how power works aerothermal and what advantages it will provide us in an installation that we practice at home, be it for air conditioning, heating or ACC (Air Conditioning) and what electrical savings it will bring us.

The development of aerothermal pumps is making it possible for them to be an alternative to conventional home-installed systems. In contrast to these, the installation and start-up process is simpler, safer and the maintenance requirements of this type of equipment are very reduced.

The aerothermal concept 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% of energy from the air that we find in the atmosphere and thus, we reduce the use of electricity for the equipment, using only 25%.

Some systems only require 1kW of electricity to produce 3 to 5 kW of heat in your home. 66 and 80% of the heat produced by the equipment comes from the outside air and is therefore free.

These aerothermal equipment They work like 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, as hot water throughout the year.

How does aerothermal work?

We must be clear that it is a technology that uses the energy of the air as a basis for air conditioning the different spaces, so we can consider it to be a highly efficient and totally clean source of energy.

To clarify concepts, the process to obtain energy would be:

  1. The atmosphere captures the energy emitted by the sun and is at a temperature "X".
  2. The technology aerothermal heat pump it captures that renewable energy from the air.
  3. That energy is used in our home through the outdoor unit that sends it to the indoor unit.
  4. The indoor unit heats the water and produces heating and domestic hot water.
  5. In summer, it is reversed, the heat from our home is sent outside to produce air conditioning.

In the next video we will understand better how to obtain aerothermal energy and why it helps us save:

In the end, in our house we would have a scheme like:

The following scheme reflects two common teams. The first, Outdoor Unit + Indoor Unit that incorporates DHW, and the second, Outdoor Unit + Indoor Unit where the DHW tank is individual:

By incorporating This teams In our facilities we obtain significant energy savings by reaching a key point of energy efficiency. The process that occurs in aerothermal energy can be broken down into 4 phases from a technical perspective:

  • The first, heat exchange. The outside air comes into contact with the evaporator through a coil and the refrigerant inside it evaporates as it is colder than said air.
  • The evaporated refrigerant moves towards the compressor where it is compressed, increasing its temperature.
  • Third, heat exchange. The compressed gas enters the condenser, and when it condenses, it releases heat that will serve to heat the interior of the house. The condensed gas is transformed into a refrigerant liquid.
  • The refrigerant moves towards the expansion valve that lowers its temperature and the pressure of the refrigerant and returns it to the evaporator to restart the process.

This use of energy is carried out by aerothermal heat pumps, mainly for heating systems and for the production of high temperature sanitary hot water.

If we want to learn from a technical perspective how heat is produced (Video from HERE) and how cold is produced (Video from HERE).

Where can an aerothermal equipment be installed?

Since systems are initially designed to be used in what are town houses, single-family homes or small and medium buildings, the main stumbling block is all the installation that you carry behind with your outdoor unit or units.

Manufacturers have come a long way in the different capabilities that facilities provide us depending on the equipment we use. Whether for new construction, renovation or rehabilitation, heat pumps offer multiple possibilities in the combination of their equipment. As examples:

With the same surface area to be heated, the installation of a aerothermal heating It costs a little more than a conventional heating, but it pays for itself very quickly.

The only element that has wear in the heat pump is the compressor, which has a very long useful life and is very easy to replace by the corresponding technical service. Aerothermal heat pumps have an average useful life of around 20-25 years.

The aerothermal heat installations they do not depend on a fuel storage that must be renewed periodically or on specific connections, and the location of the machines is not conditioned by chimneys or the production of combustion gases.

In addition, current facilities provide zonal temperature control systems to improve energy savings:

A modern heating installation with aerothermal heat pumps allows us to combine low-temperature heating systems with the simultaneous production of DHW in the proper hygienic conditions and, with a good installation design, with the same system to carry out cooling in summer without lose all other capabilities.

Depending on the outside temperature, the required energy costs between 25 and 50% of the propagated heating power. In other words, at least half of the energy will be free.

Comparison between aerothermal and geothermal

Some users are asking us what difference is there between aerothermal or geothermal and its consumption in homes. Although we are comparing two technologies to produce renewable energy, they have different technical aspects of installation and, above all, where they obtain the energy that we will use for the home.

  • Geothermal: Energy is obtained by taking advantage of the heat of the land
  • Aerothermy: Energy is obtained by taking advantage of the air that surrounds us

These two ways of obtaining renewable energy have their advantages and disadvantages, and compare aerothermal energy with geothermal energy It depends on many factors as explained by the company specialized in Geothermal Vertical Geothermal; the construction characteristics of the house (including plot area), the energy consumption we need for the house and the location due to its weather conditions. You have to ask the experts and compare!

Broadly speaking, despite the fact that both technologies have similar performance, we could say that; Although a geothermal installation is higher in price, we will always obtain a constant temperature and, the aerothermal installation It may be cheaper, but we depend on the climatic conditions (air temperature) where we will not always obtain a constant temperature.

Advantages of aerothermal

  • Low noise level in the indoor unit.
  • The location of the machines is not conditioned by chimneys or the production of combustion gases. Quick and easy installation
  • It is a natural, renewable and inexhaustible energy.
  • It is compatible with renewable energies.
  • It does not pollute. It notably reduces CO2 emissions.
  • High profitability: up to 75% savings on the electricity bill.
  • Adaptable to almost all climatic zones of the world.
  • It can be used for heating, cooling and for the production of domestic hot water (DHW).

Disadvantages and disadvantages of aerothermal energy

  • The initial investment is higher compared to the conventional system.
  • Having an outdoor unit influences aesthetics and noise.
  • Seasonal yield is reduced in very cold climatic zones.
  • The installation of aerothermal equipment it usually implies that the contracted power of electricity has to be increased. And therefore, the fixed part of the electricity bill that reaches us every month, usually increases compared to a building without aerothermal energy.
  • Its efficiency is optimal if it is used mainly for low temperature heating, since in the generation of hot water at conventional temperatures in a traditional radiator system, it reduces its capacity to save electricity.

How much energy do we save?

One of the most serious studies that exist is a doctoral thesis on the economic, energy and environmental analysis of the use of aerothermal energy (It can be consulted from HERE). Obviously, manufacturers only show benefits, but if we review the thesis we will see that the savings are important, especially if we use underfloor heating or efficient radiators.

Leaving aside the technical explanation of the COP, and what is the coefficient of performance. Said coefficient will vary depending on the outside temperatures of the house, as well as the setpoint temperature chosen by the user of the house and the flow temperature of the water that each heating system requires for heating. heat transmission in the home (underfloor heating, fan coils or radiators).

For each kWh of energy that we consume, for any of the existing traditional systems such as electric, gas or diesel boilers, they provide us with a different calorific power. Each equipment has its own performance, although very similar to each other except for aerothermal energy, which is much more efficient as we see in the previous image.

After knowing the aerothermal problems and the advantages … Would you decide on an aerothermal heat pump?

Where do I buy the equipment?

Aerothermal heating: by installing underfloor heating or low-consumption radiators without the need for a boiler, you can see significant energy and electricity savings.

To this day, as great sellers and brands of aerothermal power equipment we have Toshiba, Daikin, Mitsubishi, Vaillant, etc, which can also provide facilities that cover everything in one: heating, cooling and even DHW (domestic hot water)

It is an important investment, and, therefore, you have to look for quality and brand with good guarantees that translates into prices that are not so low but with durability in the installation. As usual! Ask for different estimates before buying, both in neighborhood stores (which sometimes surprise in prices) and in large stores in the style of Leroy Merlin, Bricodepot, Bauhaus … specialized and with serious advice.

The aerothermal price It varies according to the size of the house, the equipment that supplies us with cold or heat, as well as the brand. The most economical aerothermal range is around € 1,800 - € 2,000 with medium qualities. Compare!! And remember to deal with the installation issue, whether it is included in the price or not.

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