Heat pump water heater

  • US 4,255,936 A
  • Filed: 10/20/1978
  • Issued: 03/17/1981
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/20/1978
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A system for heating a fluid stored within a container comprising:

  • a. a compressor for compressing and heating a fluorocarbon refrigerant;

    b. a heat exchanger coupled with said container and said compressor for transferring heat between the fluid and the refrigerant;

    c. means for circulating the fluid through said heat exchanger to transfer heat from the refrigerant through said heat exchanger to the fluid to thereby cool and condense the refrigerant from a gas to a liquid; and

    d. a coaxial earth tap having an input coupled to said heat exchanger, an output coupled to said compressor, and upper and lower ends, including;

    i. an inner passageway for transferring liquid refrigerant from the upper end to the lower end of said earth tapii. restricting means coupled to the lower end of the inner passageway of said earth tap for maintaining the refrigerant within said inner passageway in a liquid state and for vaporizing the refrigerant as it is discharged from the lower end of the inner passageway, wherein the vaporized refrigerant discharged from the restricting means is in contact with the inner surface of the outer wall of the coaxial earth tap that is located below ground level;

    iii. an outer coaxial passageway thermally coupled with a heat source for transferring heat from said heat source to vaporize the refrigerant discharged from said restricting means and to increase the temperature of the refrigerant as the refrigerant travels from the lower end to the upper end of the outer passageway of said earth tap.

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