Can renewable energy power the world?
Can renewable energy power the world?

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Can renewable energy power the world?

2.8.2 Heat gains from heat pumps

The difference between a heat pump’s heat output and its electricity input is known as the heat gain.

Under the 2009 European Union Renewable Energy Directive (CEC, 2009) the heat gains from heat pumps are classified as renewable energy, but there are several classifications, which can be a source of confusion:

  • aerothermal gains – heat gains from air-source heat pumps
  • hydrothermal gains – heat gains from rivers or lakes
  • geothermal gains – gains from energy stored in the form of heat beneath the surface of solid earth – although here the source of energy is normally fairly near the surface and essentially solar in origin, not geothermal heat from deep inside the Earth.

Heat gains from heat pumps are beginning to feature in national renewable energy statisticsand may be classified together with solar gains, although they do not directly depend on solar radiation for their performance.

You'll now move on to look at solar thermal electricity generation.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus