heat pump

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A device for transferring heat from a low temperature source to a high temperature region by doing work. It is essentially a refrigerator with a different emphasis. The working fluid is at one stage a vapour, which is compressed by a pump adiabatically so that its temperature rises. It is then passed to the radiator, where heat is given out to the surroundings (the space to be heated) and the fluid condenses to a liquid. It is then expanded into an evaporator where it takes up heat from its surroundings and becomes a vapour again. The cycle is completed by returning the vapour to the compressor. Heat pumps are sometimes adapted to be used as dual-purpose space-heating-in-winter and air-conditioning-in-summer devices.

Subjects: Physics.

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