Intro to Water Source Heat Pumps w/ Eric Mele (Podcast)
In today's podcast episode, Eric Mele walks us through the components of water source heat pumps, how they work, and what to look for. Water source heat pumps use water to transfer heat to and from the outdoor unit; the water takes the place of outdoor air in an air source heat pump.
These units have heat exchangers and water lines, but they otherwise operate exactly the same as any other heat pump. These units have reversing valves, which are commonplace on heat pumps, and they are energized by a typical O call. Water source heat pumps almost never have defrost boards, unlike air source heat pumps. However, these units may also have auxiliary heat, such as electric heat. Capillary tubes are the typical metering devices on water source systems; the refrigerant flow can reverse through the metering device and doesn't require a second metering device, unlike air source heat pumps. Some larger water source systems may have TXV systems, and the bulb goes very close to the compressor.
Water temperature will affect the cooling capacity of water source heat pumps. However, pressure and flow rates are also important factors to measure. You can measure the temperature differential across the heat exchangers and liquid line temperatures to determine if you have water flow issues.
The refrigerant and water counterflow; the water and refrigerant move in opposite directions. Piping quality is an extremely important concern in a water source heat pump. If the piping fails or is supported poorly, all of that water can flood out and cause a lot of damage.
Eric and Bryan also discuss:
- Measuring water pressure
- Scale buildup and neutralization
- Capillary tube strainers and restrictions
Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.