Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heat Pump vs. Nerd

Although efficiency has been improved by a factor of 2.5 over the past decades, an additional increase of 20-50% is expected between now and 2030.
Heat Pumps - Technology Brief
One of the guys I work with has a masters in chemistry. You'd think an expert in thermodynamics would understand how heat pumps work. When I told him that 1 unit of electricity can "make" 4 units of heat he got all robo nerdy does not compute.
Hal: But the conservation of energy...
Me: The electricity doesn't create the thermal energy - the sun puts the energy in the air - You're just setting up a situation where the solar energy in the air wants to transfer to a low boiling point refrigerant in your heat pump loop. Under the right conditions 1 unit of electricity can pull 4 units of solar energy out of the air.
Hal: But the conservation of energy...
Me: It's not a closed system. You've got solar energy coming in. Don't draw the boundaries around the heat pump. Draw the boundaries to include the sun.
Hal: I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours. 
Me: So great to have you as a new power system operator.
Hal: My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you. 

Me: No thanks.

Hal: Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two. 

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