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Heat pumps are effectively pumping against a gradient. The
steeper the gradient the harder and less efficiently they
I suggest running them during the day/night in
winter/summer respectively when the temperature is closer
to the desired temperature range. Instead of pumping heat
the house, pump it into a heat sink that is heavily
insulated. Then when you actually want the cold/hot you can
pump it into the house.
Geothermal heat pumps
wiki link to what inspired the idea [lostmind, May 26 2013]
Like an ice house?
ice cut in winter stayed until summer or longer. [popbottle, May 27 2013]
||How can you pump a lack of heat into a heat sink?
||Well, it would essentially be a heat exchanger. So
it would go in either direction, that is, the
working fluid of the heat pump either heating the
heat sink, or vice versa. Could have it be a two
stage heat pump I guess, increasing cost but
improving efficiency. Has some analogies to co-gen
in there I imagine.
||Geothermal heat pumps work on a similar
process...except cost a shit load more than what
I'm proposing, installation wise that is. Would want
something with a high specific heat capacity.
Water tends to have the best.
||Water's none too happy at sub 0C though, but you can add glycol (at the cost of some heat-capacity). Ammonia'd work and is environmentally friendly after the initial explosion. How'bout an ammonia tank for cold storage, using glycol/water as transfer medium between the tank and devices ('fridge, freezer and A/C) and the radiator that loads it up during the winter.
||Water's a natural for hot-storage and that should take care of home heating.
||But the tanks aren't small unless you're working with a gradient which, as you said, uses energy. [+]
||Mercury fountains. I'm sure you could so something with a mercury fountains.
||Imagine, on a cold winter's day, warming your hands near the hot mercury fountain. And the more you do it, the better the idea seems to be! Ideal for follow-up calls from the company asking for your endorsement...
Like normal fountains, only shiny!