May 012011
 

Researchers in Norway are testing an entirely new kind of heat pump.

While heat pumps used today typically last 10 to 20 years, the new one will last practically indefinitely, the scientists believe.

The new heat pump consists of many miniature heat pumps as small as one cubic millimeter. To heat a house one needs several thousand of them. They are put together into larger units that can be tall and thin or short and wide.

“The most important advantages of the new heat pump is that you can regulate its size and form and that it is more durable than heat pumps are today. It is also more environmentally friendly,” Doctor of Physics Jan Kåre Bording says, who is Chief Engineer at the University of Stavanger in Norway.

Together with his colleague, Professor of Materials Science Vidar Hansen, he is developing a new heat pump that is thermo-electric. They have investigated its disadvantages and advantages compared with the heat pumps we use today.

The project is a collaboration project with the Department of Physics, University of Oslo. According to the researchers the heat pump will be fully developed and ready to be launched on the market in five to ten years.

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