The Future Of Heating: Gas Absorption Heat Pump Solutions

Photo of author

By Debarghya Roy

Introduction to Gas Absorption Heat Pump

The Gas Absorption Heat Pump, or AHP, is an innovative way to move thermal energy from low-temp sources to high-temp sinks. Simply put, it’s a heat pump that uses absorption instead of compression. To understand the components of an AHP system, refer to the table below:

gas absorption heat pump
AbsorberSeparates refrigerant vapor from a concentrated solution
GeneratorTransfers heat from water/air to refrigerant through the evaporation process
CondenserRemoves heat from refrigerant vapor formed from condensation
EvaporatorTransfers heat from water/air to refrigerant through evaporation process

Unlike electric heat pumps, AHPs use natural gas/burnable fuels as an energy source. This boosts fuel efficiency and makes them great for commercial boilers and industrial applications. Plus, they’re eco-friendly with a low carbon footprint.

The history of gas absorption heat pumps dates back to the early 19th century when Italian physicist Giovanni Battista Venturi invented the air-cycle machine. Today, companies like Robur offer quality AHPs with simultaneous heating & cooling systems. This tech has been cost-effective & practical for many building designs.

Working of Absorption Heat Pump

Absorption Heat Pumps (AHPs) use a hot source, like waste heat, to provide energy. 

  • A solution of water and ammonia is pumped around in a closed circuit. It passes through an evaporator, heating the low-pressure refrigerant-absorber mix.
  • The mix then enters an absorber, where it absorbs the refrigerant vapor. 
  • Heat is released, cooling the water, which can be used for cooling. Instead of a compressor, an absorber produces high-temperature gas. This gas passes through a condenser before reaching a cylinder to generate hot water for heating.

A flow control valve can reduce the temp of the absorbent. Gas absorption heat pumps have many commercial applications, like boilers and air source systems. To improve efficiency, solutions must be compatible and resistant to corrosion. Electrical conductivity reduction processes are needed. In short, gas absorption heat pumps take waste heat and turn it into hot water, saving energy and money.

Working Principle of Gas Absorption Heat Pump 

The gas absorption heat pump is an efficient alternative to electric heat pumps. It uses ammonia as a solution and is driven by low-grade thermal energy. The operating principle differs from that of the compression cycle. Thus, it is ideal for heating water in large commercial buildings.

The following table shows the components of a gas absorption heat pump:

EvaporatorAbsorbs low-temperature waste heat and evaporates ammonia
AbsorberReduces pressure on the liquid, which in turn reduces its temperature
Solution PumpMixes concentrated ammonia with a weak ammonia
GeneratorUses high-temperature thermal energy to release ammonia gas
CondenserReleases captured heat by converting ammonia to liquid
Expansion ValveReduces pressure on liquid, which in turn reduces its temperature

Waste heat from various processes or geothermal sources can be used with this system. This allows for simultaneous heating and cooling. Robur’s gas absorption heat pumps have been acclaimed for their fuel efficiencies compared to natural gas boilers.

This system works by going through four main steps: evaporation (absorption), mixing (absorption), generation (desorption), and liquefaction (condensation). Utilizing these four steps effectively produces high-temperature water for heating while reducing electric costs and carbon emissions. Enjoy the fantastic design and functioning of gas absorption heat pumps.

Design and Operation of Gas Absorption Heat Pump

The Gas Absorption Heat Pump (AHP) uses a gas absorption cycle to provide heating and cooling solutions. It has components like the Absorber, Generator, Condenser, Evaporator, and Solution Pump.

This table outlines each component and its function:

AbsorberAbsorbs Ammonia-Water mixture with low concentration
GeneratorSeparates absorbed ammonia from water by heating
CondenserReleases stored thermal energy
EvaporatorAbsorbs thermal energy from environment
Solution PumpCirculates refrigerant between Absorber & Generator

The efficiency of AHPs depends on temperature ranges, choice of gas, and absorption medium. They can use waste heat instead of electricity or combustible fuel as their primary source. Also, commercial boilers use Robur gas absorption heat pumps to reduce carbon emissions.

AHPs also have many applications in various fields, like geothermal heating and cooling systems, building HVAC systems, and process heating for industries. Therefore, they provide an excellent way to heat or cool your building without sacrificing your carbon footprint.

Applications of Gas Absorption Heat Pumps

Gas absorption heat pumps are the ultimate energy savers. They provide high-temperature heating, hot water, and cooling solutions, all powered by waste heat.

Here are some of the common applications:

Water heatingUsed in boilers, gas systems and cylinder applications
Space heatingLow-carbon cooling through an ammonia-based process
CoolingLow-carbon cooling through ammonia-based process
RefrigerationEfficient refrigeration in commercial settings

Gas absorption heat pumps can also be used for geothermal systems and steam production. They’re more cost-effective and fuel-efficient than electric heat pumps. Plus, they have fewer parts and operate with minimal noise.

One of their best features? They use water as the refrigerant instead of carbon-intensive gasses. Companies like Robur produce heat pumps that can reach temperatures of 90°C without releasing any greenhouse gases.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gas Absorption Heat Pumps

Gas absorption heat pumps are a great way to heat and cool buildings. Let’s look at some of their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Advantages:
  1. Uses waste heat as a heat source
  2. Higher fuel efficiencies
  3. Reduces carbon footprint
  4. Can provide simultaneous heating
  5. Can operate even below freezing point
  • Disadvantages:
  1. High initial installation cost
  2. Lower thermal energy output than electric heat pumps
  3. Limited range of temperatures
  4. It needs a special liquid/gas mixture, which can be dangerous
  5. Requires lots of space

Considering all factors before investing in gas absorption heat pumps is essential. These include heating/cooling requirements, space, temperature range, etc.

Pro tip: Use these pumps with natural gas or commercial boilers for the best performance. Gas absorption heat pumps are efficient and can help you save money.

Examples of Gas Absorption Heat Pumps in Use Today

Gas absorption heat pumps are famous for providing efficient heating and hot water. Examples of their use include:

  • A large office building using a lithium bromide-water AHP with 500 kW of waste heat from diesel generators.
  • A hotel complex using an ammonia-water AHP with 700 kW of geothermal energy.
  • Industrial process heating with an ammonia-water AHP at 1 MW with steam.
  • Residential heating and hot water with a propane-water AHP at 12 kW with an air source.

Moreover, these pumps can be used for simultaneous heating and cooling applications because they work at higher temperatures than electric heat pumps.

It’s time to upgrade existing heating systems with Gas Absorption Heat Pumps. Doing so can result in cost savings and greater fuel efficiency. Upgrade today and start experiencing lower energy costs. Get on board and enjoy the heat of energy-efficient buildings with Gas Absorption Heat Pumps.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a gas absorption heat pump, and how does it work?

A gas absorption heat pump (AHP) is a heating and cooling system that uses a gas-absorption cycle instead of the traditional compression cycle used in electric heat pumps. The system uses heat to generate a solution pump, which drives thermal energy absorption from a heat source (such as waste heat or ambient air) and produces hot water. The AHP can also be used for simultaneous heating and cooling, making it an efficient solution for buildings with varying temperatures.

What are the advantages of using a gas absorption heat pump?

Gas absorption heat pumps offer several advantages over traditional electric heat pumps. They are energy-efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly, using natural gas or other fuels with higher fuel efficiencies to produce heat. They are also quiet and require minimal maintenance, making them an ideal solution for residential and commercial buildings.

How is a gas absorption heat pump designed, and what are its components?

A gas absorption heat pump consists of several components: an absorber, solution pump, generator, condenser, and evaporator. The absorber and generator contain ammonia and water, while the condenser and evaporator transfer heat energy. The solution pump is responsible for circulating the key between the different components, and the AHP is powered either by a natural gas combustion process or by electricity.

What are some typical applications for gas absorption heat pumps?

Gas absorption heat pumps are highly versatile and can be used for various applications, including water heating, air conditioning, space heating, and absorption refrigeration. They are commonly used in commercial buildings, such as hospitals, hotels, and schools, as well as in residential buildings, where they are typically used to provide hot water or space heating.

How does a gas absorption heat pump compare to traditional electric heat pumps in terms of efficiency?

Gas absorption heat pumps have several advantages over traditional electric heat pumps regarding efficiency. Firstly, they operate at higher temperatures, making them more effective in producing hot water. They are also more efficient in low-temperature applications, such as ground-source or air-source heat pumps. Finally, AHPs can use waste heat from other processes to produce additional thermal energy, making them a highly efficient choice for heating and cooling applications.

What are some examples of gas absorption heat pumps available today?

There are several manufacturers of gas absorption heat pumps, including Robur, a leading player in the industry with a range of high-performance gas absorption heat pumps for residential and commercial applications. Other notable manufacturers include Aermec, LG, and Daikin. The specific gas absorption heat pump selected will depend on capacity, cost, and specific application requirements.


Gas absorption heat pumps offer immense potential to boost energy efficiency in buildings. Their design and performance have become increasingly popular. Technological advances will improve their capabilities even further.

The versatility and flexibility of these systems make them applicable in various commercial and industrial settings. Many heat sources, including waste heat, geothermal, natural gas, and solar power, can be utilized. Simultaneous heating and cooling are possible and can reach the high temperatures needed for hot water applications.

Different types are available. For instance, some use a mixture of ammonia-water as a refrigerant, and others utilize lithium bromide-water solution pump cycles.

Robur gas absorption heat pump manufacturers report that these devices can produce up to 160kW of heating capacity in a compact space. Plus, they are cost-effective and generate lower carbon emissions than conventional solutions. Clean heating is also provided.

Heat Pump