By Neil Stacey
In a typical household there are appliances for heating and other appliances for cooling. The former, including geysers, stoves, ovens and space heaters, typically use a heating element - an inefficient approach from an energy usage standpoint. The latter group of appliances is tasked with cooling and includes freezers, refrigerators and air-conditioners. These make use of heat pumps to generate a cold and a hot stream, discharging the latter as waste heat.
Simple heat integration of hot and cold appliances would result in significant savings in household energy consumption. A single heat pump replacing a household geyser would draw less electricity than a heating element with the same heating duty, and would still supply cold streams sufficient for a refrigerator, a freezer, and potentially an air-conditioner, when required. Thus, all of these appliances could collectively be operated while drawing less electricity than a typical geyser, considerably reducing household energy consumption.