What is a heat pump？ Well, it’s basically a fridge…but in reverse! In a fridge, the equipment at the back of the unit takes the heat from inside the fridge and releases it into the room.
We want to take heat from outside and bring it into the cabin so that we’re nice and toasty. But we don’t have to just take that heat from outside the car…we can capture heat that would be wasted by other parts of the vehicle such as the motor or the electronics.
So what happens when a heat pump is working? Well, this is the technical bit, but it’s worth spending 30 seconds on. The refrigerant absorbs heat from a source such as a warm battery, and it changes from a liquid to a gas. This gas then gets compressed, which in turn heats it even more. This heat is then transferred into the cabin of your vehicle to heat you up.
And as the heat is transferred to the cabin, it cools down and condenses back into a liquid in secondary heat exchange. Once enough heat is extracted, the liquid passes through an expansion valve to relieve the pressure. From there it goes back through the same process again.
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