All heat pumps require working fluids. In the vast majority of cases, these have serious disadvantages for the environment, which is why they are subject to legal restrictions. This makes sense for environmental protection, but can slow down the spread of heat pumps. ecop’s Rotation Heat Pump is a solution to this dilemma. Since the entire process takes place without a phase transition, i.e. it is always gaseous, a noble gas can be used as the working medium, which is extracted from the air and has no negative effects.

Working fluids are an essential part of heat pumps. The waste heat at a low level is typically compressed, heated, and the heat can be extracted at a higher level. In this process, conventional technology involves a phase transition, i.e., evaporation or condensation. Since this process is optimized for a specific temperature level, the working media must meet specific physical requirements.

Hydrocarbons were originally used for this purpose, but they are highly explosive. Therefore, chemical safety refrigerants were invented (CFCs). When it became apparent that these were destroying the ozone layer, they were banned (Montreal Protocol). They were replaced by so-called F-gases. These were also found to have a high greenhouse effect, so they are currently in a “phase down” (F-Gas Regulation 517/2014).

As a result, more hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) with a low global warming potential (GWP) were developed. However, these decompose in the atmosphere in a short time to form so-called “forever chemicals” with the umbrella term PFAS and enter water bodies and groundwater through rain, where they are virtually impossible to remove. They are one of four short-lived pollutants that have been classified as “super pollutants” because of their adverse effects on the environment. They are very harmful to organisms and attack DNA and RNA.

The trend is therefore back toward hydrocarbons. This closes the circle. However, the disadvantages of hydrocarbons have remained and have to be compensated by expensive safety technology.

It is therefore urgently necessary to focus on technologies that do not require harmful refrigerants. ecop’s Rotation Heat Pump is based on such a technology. Since it uses a different physical process than conventional heat pumps, the working medium can always remain gaseous. Refrigerants are therefore not necessary; a noble gas is used that is extracted from the air and is completely non-toxic, non-flammable and harmless.