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Research Project

I am currently working on a research project involving the history of heat pumps. I was hoping I could get any information on the major companies throughout history that manufactured heat pumps. I am specifically looking for economic data such as market share information, but any information on the industry would be helpful. Thank you for your time.


  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
    Black Eyes

    Lots of research material available in" the NEWS " the HVACR weekly publication. Check their archives.Darn near every mfrg makes them .From the begining the compressor was the weak link,and the heat pump mkt got a black eye. Every 8-10-12 years or so a "better ,stronger compressor" was made and the same thing. Another black eye.Even a Kublican {spelling ?} bearing didn't help Fedders Co Heat Pump.The government got involved .Now-a days  ,there is a good "better,stronger compressor " and heat pumps are black eye free!
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Just one guy's history with them.

    In the late 80's and early 90's, I was an hvac tech in GA.  For a 3 yr period, we were installing heat pumps as fast as we could get them in.  Georgia Power had substantial rebates on the install.

    After year 3, we were pulling them out as fast as we put them in.  As Techman stated, the compressors were the weak link.  The early heat pumps had considerable trouble providing heat below about 32* F outside temp.  Most installs relied on electric resistance heaters as back up.  The electric bills from the electric strips running all winter was staggering.  Advances in compressor design, mostly lead by the need for stronger compressors to deal with the higher pressures related to R-410A have made a huge difference. 

    There is a big discussion currently in the industry about the bottom level of enthalpy (around 7 btu/lb) and what the minimum output level of heating is with a heat pump. 

    We now utilize heat pumps even in Maine.  Not as primary heat, but especially coupled with radiant heat.  We use the heat pump during shoulder season when HO's are only looking to boost indoor temps a few degrees in the morning and evening.  I have applications where the heat pump is putting out effective heat with the outside temp as low as 15*F and enthalpy in the 10 btu/lb range.

    "The News" archive is a great spot for older info.

    Good Luck. 
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144

    w/ their Kublican bearing was  75-80 's.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    The Fedders were a class action lawsuit out of the box.

    We were doing mostly Tempstar and Bryants back then.  Same problems but not near as bad as the Fedders.  Absolute Junk.  Thankfully, we didn't see too many of them in my area.  Unlucky you if you did.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,496
    edited June 2011
    Re: heat pumps etc

    I am thinking back to the early 80s and working on old heat pumps then? I think the oldest ones I remember were from the 60s or early 70s. GE or York. I have old records that go back to the 70s sometimes but I don't think I have ones left from before. I will do some thinking and talk to my partner?

     Just did a quick search and was reminded of ones I forgot about, Westinghouse Hi Reli  and Typhoon.  We worked on all these back in the 80s. Some of the typhoons were from early 50s.  Just a little tidbit.  Tim

     Ok, so I had a little time on my hands this am, here is a Wikipedia link to History, I was surprised. 1857, 1st heat pump developed by Peter Ritter Von Rittinger. Velly Intellesting,  Link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pump#cite_note-13
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