Areas of application of special technologies and systems include process industries in which cooling is the main or necessary follow-up process in achieving some production or to perform a certain activity: dairy and meat industry, frozen fruit and vegetable industry, beverage processes (brewing and pasteurisation of beer, heat treatment of juices), alcoholic beverage industry (fermentation and distillation), chemical and pharmaceutical industry, fodder industry.
Regarding the application of refrigeration technology, it is especially important to integrate heat pumps into technical and technological lines within very diverse energy systems.
The idea of a heat pump is not new, in fact since the very beginning of the development of refrigeration technology it was clear that cooling machines with smaller adaptations can also be used as low temperature heat pumps. However, only after the First World Oil Crisis in 1974, the rapid development and expansion of the application of heat pumps for the most diversified applications, primarily intended for heating purposes, began. In addition, as a special benefit, it has been shown that practically all cooling machines in air conditioners can be used in cold periods as heat pumps for heating.
The economics of the application of heat pumps is primarily determined by the characteristics of heat sources and sinks (the medium to which the heating effect is delivered), especially by their temperatures and abundance (which can often be periodic, for example, seasonal changeable). As heat sources, atmospheric air, groundwater and groundsoil can be used, as well as “waste heat” which arises as an inevitable by-product of practically all industrial processes. To achieve a satisfactory effect it is necessary that the heat pump be, as far as possible, harmonized with the characteristics of the source and the heated media. Therefore, it is necessary, for complex objects in which heat pumps should be installed, to analyze the hour cooling and heat loads. In doing so, this analysis must be based on the characteristics of the object itself and its energy needs, as well as the detailed knowledge of the process technology whose waste heat should serve as a heat source.