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Does your fridge use lava?

Scientific discovery and discussion
XFool
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Does your fridge use lava?

#208176

Postby XFool » March 17th, 2019, 11:55 am

Hah! With the recent publicity about phasing out gas boilers in new homes and using things like heat pumps for domestic heating there is a whole new opportunity to recall that journalists are not the people who did science at school!

More than one source is struggling to 'explanarise' the mysterious workings of 'heat pumps'. This includes the BBC website, also recently on the BBC R4's Money Box: "It comes from lava or something like that, doesn't it?". And I just spotted another struggling journo on This is Money:

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bil ... arden.html

"This fluid flows into a heat pump, which uses clever technology to heat water for the home. Crucially, the device squeezes the energy out of a very large amount of tepid liquid and uses it to heat up a much smaller amount of water."

So far so good, but:

"It does this by a process called compression. Hot water is then fed to a tank and around the home’s pipes and radiators."

When will the penny drop that every home already has a 'heat pump', I call mine a refrigerator. Should be easier from then on. ;)

XFool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4710
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 7:21 pm
Been thanked: 344 times

Re: Does your fridge use lava?

#208183

Postby XFool » March 17th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Golly! Should have read the entire article first. :)

Just noticed they got there in the end, under Option 2:

"With air source heat pumps, any heat from the outside air is taken in through a special fan on the side of the house. It works like a fridge in reverse. While a fridge disperses heat from a system of pipes at the back to cool itself, an air source heat pump absorbs the heat from outside the home to warm it."

Though surely it is the same principle with Option 1?


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