- An AquaCal® heat pump/heater does not create heat, it simply moves heat from one place to another
- Both air source and geothermal/water source units are available.
- It is much less costly to move nature’s heat than to create new heat by burning energy.
Heat flows naturally from a higher to a lower temperature. AquaCal® heat pumps, however, are able to force the heat flow in the other direction, using a relatively small amount of high quality drive energy (electricity). AquaCal® heat pumps transfer heat from the air, to a swimming pool or spa application.
In order to transport heat from the heat pump to the pool water, external energy is needed to drive the heat pump. The total heat delivered by the heater is equal to the heat extracted from the air, plus the amount of drive energy supplied. Electrically driven heat pumps from AquaCal® typically supply 100 kWh of heat with just 20-40 kWh of electricity.
Because AquaCal® heat pumps consume less primary energy than other heat pump systems, they are an important technology for reducing gas emissions that harm the environment.
- An AquaCal® heat pump does not create heat, it simply moves heat from one place to another
- The heat that an AquaCal® heat pump works with comes from the outside air (or, with water source heat pumps, the heat source may be well water, rivers, lakes, ground loops, etc.)
- It is much less costly to move heat than to create new heat
- Outside air is drawn across a heat collector (called an evaporator);
- The heat from the outside air is absorbed by liquid refrigerant contained within the evaporator, causing the liquid refrigerant to boil (or evaporate);
- Heat-laden vapor refrigerant is drawn into a compressor, where its pressure is raised. Raising the pressure of the refrigerant forces the refrigerant molecules closer together, raising the temperature of the refrigerant (refrigerant temperatures, at this point, may approach 135ºF);
- The hot refrigerant vapor then passes through one side of a dual-circuit heat exchanger: one of the circuits contains the hot refrigerant, while pool or spa water passes through the other side passes pool or spa water. While the refrigerant and water never actually touch, the HEAT from the refrigerant passes into the water;
- As heat is removed from the refrigerant (passing into the water), and because the refrigerant remains under high pressure, the refrigerant molecules can again condense together…the result is the refrigerant returns to a liquid-state;
- Liquid refrigerant is then fed through a refrigerant metering device into the evaporator, where the whole process starts over once again. In reality, throughout the heat pump workings, and as long as the compressor is in operation, the actions described in numbers 2-5, above, are occurring concurrently.
- An air source unit draws free heat from the outside air and is most efficient in warmer climates. Its operating range is generally temperatures that average 50°F or warmer. The average temperature is the average of the daytime high and the nighttime low.
- A geothermal unit gathers free heat from a water source, ex. well water, rivers, lakes, ground loops, etc. The water source is generally consistent and not affected by outside air temperature or relative humidity. A geothermal unit will maintain a constant temperature year round and can be installed indoors.
- Geothermal energy is often defined as thermal energy stored in the Earth. With the term “thermal energy”, a person may immediately think of volcanic activity such as hot springs or geysers. That is indeed true. However, in most places around the globe, geothermal energy is merely solar energy stored in the earth’s crust or in the vast waters that cover the earth. In fact, ½ of all solar energy that reaches the earth is stored in the surface of the earth.
- To understand this concept, consider these examples:
- At 5 ft. Below the Surface: Temperature varies ± 10°F from average annual air temp (think of your dog “Old Blue” laying in the dirt )
- At 30 ft. Below the Surface: Temperature varies ± 1°F from average annual air temp (Cool in a Cave Winter or Summer)
- Below 400 ft. there is a 1° F rise per 70 feet of Depth (Remember the Chilean Miners trapped at 2300 ft. below the surface and endured 97°F during their ordeal)
Source water is the fluid that brings the energy (heat or cool) to the refrigeration cycle from the solar energy stored in the ground. This source water can be from a well (of sufficient quantity and quality) or from an open body of water with sufficient filtration. These are considered open loops. Water circulating thru pipes in the ground or bottom of an open body of water are considered closed loops.
- In an open loop system, water comes directly from a source and is returned directly to that source once the heat has been transferred to the heat pump. Examples include well water or lake or bay water of good quality that is readily available.
- A closed loop system requires a collector system, consisting of a coil or grid of plastic tubing with a glycol mixture in the loop. The collector system transfers the heat from the source to the heat pump. Examples include collector systems submerged in a lake, river or any open body of water, collector systems buried in the ground to a sufficient size and depth depending on the climate and a vertical bore system.
- The cost varies drastically depending on what type of loop system is used, open loop or closed loop. Generally speaking, an open loop is the least expensive.
- For a closed loop system, the cost of laying pipe in the bottom of an open body of water, of a sufficient size and depth, can be the most economical. The next option to consider would be installing pipes horizontally laid 4 to 6 feet deep in the ground. Generally speaking, the most expensive form of closed loop is the vertical bore where pipe is extended in vertically drilled holes and then backfilled with a grout material.
- Because of the near constant temperature of a Geothermal energy (heat) Source and the greater heat transfer efficiency of water, Geothermal/Water Source heat pumps are commonly the most efficient way to heat or cool\chill water in most climates. The cost to heat a water system with a heat pump is approximately 1/4 the cost to heat the same water system with Natural Gas, Propane or Electric Resistance heating. Of course the water system can only be cooled/chilled with a heat pump.
- For many climates, the air source temperature is not always sufficient to provide a reliable source of energy when heat is needed most. This is the area where Geothermal/Water Source heat pumps excel. However, an air source system that is backed up by a Natural Gas or Propane heater can still be a very efficient and cost effective method of heating and cooling your water.
AquaCal Geothermal and Air Source Heat Pumps use a patented ThermoLink® heat exchanger, which is constructed with titanium tubing and a high impact plastic shell. These materials are impervious to corrosion from the effects of salt water, high or low pH, or even erosion from particles in the water. Since the ThermoLink® heat exchanger is offered on the source side of our AquaCal® Geothermal Heat Pumps, salt water can be considered as the source.
Air Source Heat Pumps can be serviced and repaired by a Qualified HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Technician.
Geothermal Heat Pumps can be serviced and repaired by a Qualified HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Technician. In most states, there are HVAC experts and well drillers whom specialize in geothermal applications.
Aquaculture is that segment of agriculture that is dedicated to raising food products that are water borne (aqua) fish, shellfish, underwater plants.
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) have the advantage of raising greater numbers and pounds of a given species in a smaller area than other forms of fish farming. The raising of fish in an RAS also gives greater protection from biosecurity threats and predatory animals. And by raising the animals in an indoor environment, water temperature and light duration can be controlled to yield more weight in a shorter period of time.