Heat Pumps

There are two types of heat pumps found in Alaska:

Air source heat pumps take heat from the ambient air and use electricity to “step it up” to a temperature usable for space heating. ASHPs work best in more mild climates like Southeast Alaska, though colder-climate models are being developed now.

Ground source heat pumps use a similar technology except they take heat from the ground rather than the air. GSHPs are most efficient in warmer ground but have proven to work even in cold climates like Interior Alaska.

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Projects

Ground Source Heat Pump & Solar Thermal at Weller School CCHRC and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power conducted the first in-depth assessment of ground source heat pumps in Alaska. We studied a system at a local elementary school that uses warmth from the ground to heat the building, and recharges the soil with solar energy in the summer.
Air Source Heat Pumps in Southeast Alaska ASHPs take heat from the outdoor air and use electricity to raise the temperature. Because they require less electricity than electric heating appliances, heat pumps could reduce heating costs for Southeast residents.
Ground Source Heat Pump Demonstration at CCHRC Long-term test of a ground source heat pump at CCHRC's facility in Fairbanks to study performance in cold soils.