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Heat pumps

  1. Sep 21, 2007 #1
    Are there natural gas powered heat pumps? My friend says yes, but the science is puzzling to me if so. Easy to understand burning gas to make heat, but what economical home system can make cold air from hot burning gas unless the heat turns a dynamo that makes electricity that powers the AC function. But why? Burning gas in the summer to make cold air? Seems to me like Rube Goldberg engineering for the end result; also way too complex and convoluted for a home heating system. Any help out there in product availability and the science involved to accomplish this strange(to me) feat?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'll be danged. I just copied and pasted from your first sentence to google natural gas powered heat pump, and got lots of hits! Here's one of the first ones, with a good writeup and diagrams.

    How in the heck did we survive before google?

    EDIT -- Oops, sorry. I spaced pasting in the link: http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev28_2/text/gas.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Sep 21, 2007 #3


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    Gold Member

    Gas powered refrigerators have been around for ages. They are used in virtually all campers, RVs, and motorhomes. From what I've seen they are fairly efficient. They have NO moving parts.
  5. Sep 21, 2007 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Generally they use propane, but close enough.
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