Are Air Source Heat Pumps A Threat To Geothermal Heat Pump Suppliers?

Last year, geothermal heat pump (GHP) manufacturers introduced new heat pumps with break-through efficiency based on variable-speed compressor technology.  These manufacturers include Waterfurnace Renewable Energy  (TSX:WFI, OTC:WFIFF) and ClimateMaster, a division of LSB Industries LXU -0.46% (NYSE:LXU).

Air Source and Ground Source

Variable speed compressor technology was not restricted to geothermal heat pumps (also known as ground source heat pumps or geoexchange): It had first found its way into what are often considered ground source’s poor cousins: air source heat pumps (ASHP).

Both types of heat pumps use a refrigeration cycle to draw heat from the outside in winter to heat a building, and pull heat from the inside to cool it in summer.  GHPs use large loops of buried tubing to exchange heat with the ground, while ASHPs use an above-ground fan and heat exchanger assembly similar to the evaporator on a traditional whole house air conditioner (see photo.)

via Are Air Source Heat Pumps A Threat To Geothermal Heat Pump Suppliers? – Forbes.

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