Normal heat pumps make use of chemicals to modulate temperatures, in the future they may all use sound. A new French startup has announced they will sell a residential heat pump using acoustics. It’s not loud since the sound waves stay in the system to change the temperature, which also means the system can be quickly adjusted. Using acoustics for temperature control isn’t new (it’s used on the James Webb space telescope), this application of it in a residential system is novel.
Loyer said the heat pump can generate domestic water at up to 80 C. He claims that one of the key benefits of the acoustic heat pump, in comparison with traditional units using refrigerants, is its ability to reach very high or low temperatures.
“Traditional heat pumps use refrigerants with a temperature phase. They a have temperature limit, which is the temperature of the changing phase from liquid to gas of the refrigerant,” said Loyer. “In our core, the helium stays in gas form. Because helium remains a gas until -200 C, we can achieve higher temperatures inside our heat pump core.”