Gas Absorption Heat Pumps (GAHPs) are a combination of two familiar types of heating technology: condensing boilers and electric heat pumps. In the same way as a gas condensing boiler, GAHPs can operate at higher temperatures for both heating and hot water. And much like an electric heat pump, GAHPs use renewable energy in the form of heat from the ambient air.

However, electric heat pumps – as their name implies – use electricity to boost energy gained from low temperature ambient air to a higher temperature level. They achieve this by compressing a refrigerant fluid, which contains the energy from the air. But the colder the ambient air, the more power is needed to reach high flow temperatures, so when it’s cold outside, and the most heat is needed, a lot of expensive electrical energy must be used to ensure comfort. And below a certain operational point (~ -20°C) there is no heat generation at all!

Because a GAHP doesn’t use a compressor, it uses much less electricity as there is no electrically-operated compressor to raise the temperature of the refrigerant.

The key difference between a gas absorption heat pump and an electric heat pump is that a GAHP uses a gas burner to provide the required energy directly, with (or even without) the contribution of ambient air energy.

The GAHP is able to use both condensing boiler technology in partnership with the renewable energy of a heat pump, so that full performance can be guaranteed in any situation, whatever the weather.

To avoid supply bottlenecks during peak load periods, energy suppliers can switch off the power supply for electrical heat pumps 3 times a day for 2 hours each time*, if a discounted electricity tariff for the heat pump is used. The building is no longer heated during these times and the room temperature begins to cool down. Buildings, whose envelope has not been renovated and/or whose heating system doesn’t contain any energy storage mass (e.g. underfloor heating, buffer storage) cool down correspondingly faster.

*§7, Bundestarifordnung Elektrizitäts-Gesetz

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