Frequently asked question
How does a Prana Heat Pump work?
Heat flows naturally from a higher to a lower temperature. Basically PRANA heat pumps are able to force the heat flow in the other direction, using a relatively small amount of clean energy. The great benefits in terms of costs and emissions reductions they ensure are due to the fact that heat is transferred from renewable and free heat sources directly available in nature, air, water or ground. PRANA are be designed for heating only or for heating and cooling. In this case they are called reversible heat pumps, because the heat transfer can be reversed, i.e. heat will be transferred from the surroundings to be chilled, to the external air, water or ground. Moreover PRANA DHW models enable to exploit the waste heat during cooling in order to produce domestic hot water for free, thus furtherly increasing the advantages they offer.
All PRANA heat pumps are featured by high energy ratios, with a COP (ratio between supplied and absorbed energy) well beyond 3,8 for air source models, and even 4,0 for water and ground source units.
Because heat pumps consume less primary energy than conventional heating systems, they are an important technology for reducing gas emissions that harm the environment, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Can the PRANA heat pumps heat the whole building?
PRANA units are designed to offer a complete answer to the heating requirements of residential or small and medium office buildings. All units can be employed as a valuable alternative to traditional heating systems, heating the whole building, with radiating plates, underground floor, or fan-coils according to the type of unit.
Moreover they ensure a simple integration with renewable or existing systems such as existing heating plant, solar panels, biomasses, etc.
Hence their employment is very suitable not only in new buildings, where they are the most straightforward way to cut energy bills and increase sustainability, but also in existing houses, where they can significantly contribute to increase the energy performance of the building.
Can the PRANA heat pumps supply also domestic hot water?
All PRANA units are designed to provide heating and domestic hot water as priority. Domestic hot water can be provided using a three-way valve (heat pump for 2-pipes systems) or with total heat recovery (heat pumps for 4 pipes systems). The reversible 4-pipes models, DHW, are optimized for this purpose and can provide domestic hot water supply using a dedicated heat exchanger. Thanks to the recovery system, while the unit operates in cooling mode, the heat of condensation is used to heat water for domestic use, to avoid wasting the external source that can be air, water or soil.
Why is underfloor heating a most recommended solution for heat pump systems?
The lower the temperature of the heated water, the better the heat pump's efficiency.
Underground floors, thanks to the generous dimensions of the radiating surface, work at much lower temperatures than standard radiators.
When applied in new, well insulated buildings, the water temperature needed to provide an ideal heating can be even lower than 35°C, with an tremendous increase in efficiency, if compared to the 80°C water temperature required by radiators.
Why is a tank necessary for domestic hot water?
The heat pump is selected for the heating requirements of the building and not for an instant domestic hot water production systems such as for a conventional boiler. It’s necessary to store hot water to meet the demands of hot water for domestic use.
Do PRANA heat pumps require a buffer tank?
It depends on the models. The buffer tank is used to enable the heat pumps work and be switched of for longer periods, thus reducing the times it has to stop and start which are among the most damaging operation steps.
In addition, a suitable volume of water allows efficient defrost cycles by avoiding to lower too much the temperature of the water in the system.
The geothermal system is always feasible?
Yes, the only condition is a small area ground space to make the perforations. The diameter of the perforation is 142 ÷160 mm; Be sure that the sinking machinery can access the site.
In the case of a newly designed building, the vertical probes can be installed with a few precautions, even under the insole of the building.
What are the ideal conditions to make the most of the potential savings offered by geothermal?
The ideal condition is found with the combination of the geothermal system with a distribution of heat at low temperature (for example, radiant floor, wall or ceiling panels).
I have the radiators, can I warm up with a heat pump air-water?
Yes, our heat pumps can produce hot water up to a maximum of 65 ° C with air temperature in the ambient of -12 ° C. Clearly, with increasing supply temperature to the heating system, the efficiency of the system decreases.
The geothermal system can be only a warm even in cold winters, or should I keep my oil or gas boiler for possible temperature low-peaks in the winter?
The geothermal system ensures complete autonomy with no additions of gas or oil, after all these heating systems are very popular in countries with cold climate such as Sweden, Germany and Switzerland
I would combine the solar and geothermal energy, what do you think?
As the heat pump consumes electricity, the combination with a photovoltaic system is the ideal solution that can make the system 100% self-sufficient. Integration with the solar thermal system is a good solution from an ecological point of view.
On the economic front this should be assessed case by case, since the heat pump ensures hot water at a very low cost.
I have got a water well, it is true that the system would cost me less and is more efficient? How much water is needed?
Yes that is true. In this case we can choose for a water-water with high efficiency, with the advantage to reduce or cancel the cost of drilling for the probe pipes installation.
The quantity of water needed for the proper operation is calculated by our technicians and varies depending on the strength of the heat pump.
Could you also make the cooling with geothermal? I live where the summer is very hot, I was wondering if this system might be sufficient.
Yes, certainly, the geothermal system ensures the cooling of the environment during the summer season. Cooling can be widespread trough the panels by using a low temperature radiant or hydronic fan coils.
My plumber does not advise me cooling by radiant floor because of possible formation of condensation, what can you tell me about this?
The cooling trough the floor, if properly designed does not create condensation problems. The flow temperature in the pipes will be adjusted automatically and it would never be too cold, just to avoid the phenomenon of condensation.
Can I also heat my swimming-pool with your heat pump system?
Yes, you can heat the pool with a dedicated facility, or use the heat pump for housing to increase or maintain the temperature of the pool during half seasons (i.e., when the heat pump is not committed to produce heat or cold for comfort use).
Can fan coil units and floor heating be combined in the same system?
Yes, but the leaving water temperature must then be adjusted to match the temperature requirement for the fan coil units. The temperature in the floor loops must be reduced to a suitable level by the use of a mixing valve or shunt connection
If I want to have a hot water temperature higher than the maximum flow water temperature produced from heat pump, how can I do it?
The units can manage an electric booster heater, inside the domestic hot water tank, that raises the water temperature from 55°C to a maximum of 70°C, for example. The same electrical heater can be use for anti-legionella.
Can air-water heat pump produce hot water in summer?
Yes, the heat pump can run in hot water mode with an ambient temperature of 40°C and over (check the operating limits of the unit).