A NEW, efficient household heat pump system has been invented in Shanghai as an alternative to deal with cold winters since central heating, common in some northern cities, was never widely developed in southern China.
The electrical-driven system was developed by a research team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It consists of three parts -- an outdoor unit, a water tank and an inside unit.
"Unlike air conditioners, which usually have a better cooling system than the heating system, our system has a stronger heating function and is more energy-saving," said Wang Ruzhu, director of the Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics of Jiao Tong University.
Wang said the new heat pump system can save up to 20 percent in energy costs. It also can recycle heat and produce hot water for domestic use.
About 30,000 sets of the heat pump system will hit the market in September. It costs around 25,000 yuan (US$4,073) for a family with an apartment of 100 square meters for cooling, heating and hot water.
Last year, Shanghai residents experienced the coldest December in the past seven years. After that, some residents suggested that Shanghai copy central heating systems of northern cities.
Wang said it is unlikely that Shanghai could adopt a central heating system because it wastes a lot of energy and living arrangements aren't as conducive to such as system as in the north.
Central heating is available only in some affluent communities in Shanghai, while most people use air conditioners, electric heaters and blankets.
Source: Shanghai Daily