The history of the Air Source Heat Pump

Posted by Andi

Although the modern Air Source Heat Pumps that we know today are considered modern innovations in eco-friendly heating solutions for homes, the technology dates back a lot further than you might expect. The genesis for the Air Source Heat Pump dates back to 1755 when Scottish physicist William Cullen designed the first-ever refrigeration machine. Cullen used a pump to create a partial vacuum over a highly flammable liquid, which then boiled, absorbing heat from the surrounding air. Building on this theory, American inventor Jacob Perkins built the first-ever fridge in 1834 and gained the patent for the Vapour-Compression Cycle. The same principle which Air Source Heat Pumps exploit to heat your home.

Mining and the Air Source Heat Pump…

In 1852, Belfast born mathematical physicist and engineer Lord Kelvin theorised that if the Vapour-Compression Cycle could be used to cool air by taking out the heat, then surely it could be used in reverse to heat the air up? He was right, and in 1856 an Austrian mineral processor named Peter von Rittinger was credited with inventing the first-ever Air Source Heap Pump which he used to dry out marshes so that they could be mined for salt.

Original Air Source Heat Pump diagram

Fast forward to the current day and Air Source Heat Pump technology is being developed at a faster pace than ever before. The Air Source Heat Pumps that we install in your homes today are the result of centuries of research, development and refinement however the concept behind the machine has remained pretty much the same. The exploitation of the Vapour-Compression Cycle ensures efficient heating even in extremely low temperatures. Air Source Heat Pumps have always been extremely durable, with many still running which were installed in the 1970s. With the phasing out of fossil fuels, Air Source Heat Pumps represent the future of heating in the UK, these systems have spent centuries in development and their time is now to lead the fight against rising heating costs and unhealthy fossil fuels.

Read more about the Air Source Heat Pump we install in the UK here.

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