Peltier Heat Pump – Heat Pump Without Climate Relevant Refrigerant

Commercially available Peltier modules, incl. thermographic pictures

Due to the increasing building standard in the last years the specific heat energy demand for new buildings but also for refurbished buildings decreases. Due to this fact the percentage of end energy use for hot water production rises. But small scale devices, which can be used for decentralized applications, are hardly available. Usually devices with a high nominal power, short operation times and small capacity utilization are used. Therefore there is a lack on devices for heating and cooling for small scale applications (<2 kWthermal), which do not have moving parts and therefore need low-maintenance, which have no noise emissions and therefore can be used for decentralized applications and which do not use climate-relevant refrigerants.

Objectives and Method

The aim of the project Peltier_Heat_Pump is to research a device for heating and cooling in the building technology for small scale applications (<2 kWthermal). This device is characterized through long operation times and little electrical power consumption, through operation without climate-relevant refrigerants, through operation without noise emissions, through operation without maintenance and through the fact that it can be connected to PV without DC/AC conversion losses. This device for building technology applications is based on Peltier-elements and can be applied for heating, cooling and hot water production.

The following methods will be applied:

  • Calculation of the heat transfer between the thermoelectric element and the heat exchanger as well as between the external thermoelectric heat pump/heat exchanger unit and the fluid through forced convection based on measurement
  • Laboratory experiment 
    • to evaluate different external thermoelectric heat pump/heat exchanger units for building technology application
    • to validate the developed calculations
  • Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation at the existing heat pump test rig through the application of realistic loads and the simulation of PV concepts

Results and findings

The result at the end of the project will be a researched external thermoelectric heat pump/heat exchanger unit, in which Peltier-elements with a total heating power <2 kWthermal can be optimally integrated regarding the heat transfer. The thermoelectric heat pump/heat exchanger unit can be used for the production of hot water but also for heating and cooling applications (e.g. for the fine tuning regarding thermal comfort). Through the Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation, which applies realistic loads, possible applications in the field of building technology will be analyzed.

Calculation of thermoelectric module (left), numeric validation of test stand (right)

Funding agencies, research & cooperation partners

Funding agency

This project is funded by the climate and energy fund and carried out within the energy research programme 2014.

Research partners

Kindly endorsed by WILO Pumps Austria.


Project team and project manager

Project manager

  • Werner Stutterecker
    DI(FH) DI Werner Stutterecker PhD
    Dept. Energy & Environment
    Campus Pinkafeld

    Forschungsschwerpunkte: Gebäudetechnik mit Fokus Wärmepumpen- & Kältetechnik
    Angewandte wissenschaftl. Methoden: Experimentelle Untersuchungen, Feldmessungen, Gebäude- & Anlagensimulation, Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation

Project team

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