Industrial heat pumps

Alfa Laval innovates compact plate heat exchanger technology for heat pump systems. These are installed to recover heat from industrial processes but also recover low-grade heat from data centers and natural heat sources like sea, river, sewage, or groundwater. We work closely with leading local installers and system builders from across the globe, supplying both standard and customized heat exchanger solutions. We focus largely, but not exclusively, on applications that employ natural refrigerants.

We have experience working with both electrically driven as well as thermally driven heat pumps type so do not hesitate to contact Alfa Laval for advice regarding appropriate heat exchanger selection

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Alfa Laval walks the talk - An ammonia heat pump absorbs the waste heat from the cooling system of the plate pressing operation in the Alfa Laval factory. Benefitting plate heat exchangers, it contains an ammonia charge of only 40 kg for a capacity of 827 kW with a COP of 7. >> Read more about the case.
A heat pump equipped with efficient Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers enables waste heat recovery from municipal wastewater and seawater, supplying a district heating network that serves 1100 homes in Nyhavn, Copenhagen with sustainable heat. The result is major energy savings and emissions reductions.

The keys to sustainable heating with electrically driven industrial heat pumps

  • Think through what temperature you really need the heat pump to deliver. A level above 100 C reaches normally only 50% of the efficiency of a heat pump delivering below 90 C.
  • Choosing a system with natural refrigerant such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, or hydrocarbons will assure the investment stays future proof. Ammonia normally allows for the highest energy efficiency.
  • Assure the system is optimized with modern technology including plate heat exchangers allowing for low refrigerant charge and a close efficient temperature approach which shortens the system’s payback time.
  • Choose a reliable supplier of plate heat exchangers. Alfa Laval latest developments are focusing further efficiency gains in heat pump applications.

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Above is an ammonia heat pump under construction including semi-welded plate heat exchangers as flooded evaporator, desuperheater, condenser and sub cooler. 

Ready to learn more about how to become more sustainable using industrial heat pumps with efficient plate heat exchangers? It normally pays off boosting energy efficiency and saving you money. 

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RefTight™ sealing system

High performance gasket sealing, for high-pressure duties. The RefTight™ sealing system in our semi-welded plate heat exchangers enables enhanced, long-term performance in heat pump applications with high pressures and temperatures. The weld is positioned outside the separate ring-gasket groove, which ensures reliable sealing, extends the lifetime of the gasket, and prolongs service intervals.

Integrated subcooling

Heat pumps with high-efficiency design can result in substantial economic savings. Integrating subcooling and de-superheating into the condenser of the plate heat exchanger makes it possible to improve energy efficiency without the need for extra pipework or additional components.


Turn to efficiency

Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers can operate with the same small temperature difference as evaporators. To fully benefit this efficiency, we have developed the U-Turn separator. This efficient module is also very compact, and the connections are grouped to allow the module to be installed close to walls or on the perimeter of a main skid.

  • Designed for natural ammonia refrigerant
  • Minimum pressure drop losses, maximum energy efficiency
  • Close temperature approach, space saving design
  • Complete solution including our heat exchanger and separator technology

Advanced solutions for industrial heat pumps


Semi-welded plate heat exchangers

Our compact semi-welded plate heat exchangers enable greater efficiency and reliability in industrial heat pump applications. Alfa Laval semi-welded heat exchangers are especially the choice for ammonia heat pumps. These exchangers reduce the ammonia charge and risk of leakage with their proven RefTight™ sealing system. Available with corrosion-resistant material for sea/river water heat recovery.

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Alfa Laval brazed plate heat exchangers

Brazed plate heat exchangers

Our copper-brazed plate heat exchangers are compact, efficient, and the standard type of heat exchangers for evaporating, and condensing in commercial and residential heat pumps. They work with most types of environmentally friendly, low-GWP refrigerants, including important natural refrigerants, such as CO2 and hydrocarbons. Each unit is designed with a range of unique features that ensure superior thermal performance and reliability.

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Most plate heat exchangers used in commercial or small-capacity industrial heat pumps are brazed with copper. While suitable for many applications, copper reacts negatively with ammonia, an important natural refrigerant. Built with our unique fusion-bonding method, AlfaNova offers the market’s only 100% stainless steel plate heat exchanger. It is a compact, efficient solution for cooling very clean, sensitive, liquids, which takes advantage of ammonia’s low-GWP potential.

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Selected industrial heat pump cases


Broager Danmark

Alfa Laval semi-welded PHEs play as evaporators capturing 250 m deep groundwater at 9°C to deliver a district heating supply of hot water at 70°C heat. Capacity in this case is 18,000 MWh yearly with a COP of 4.0 since 2016


Viborg Danmark

In Bjerringbo, Alfa Laval semi-welded PHEs play as ammonia evaporators to recover excess heat to supply the district heating and cooling network. Capacity in this case is 13,500 MWh yearly with a COP of 4.6 since 2016.


Haderslev, Denmark

At Fuglsang Brewery malt house, Alfa Laval semi-welded PHEs in the condenser unit recover excess heat to deliver heating of hot side media from 45° to 70° C. Capacity in this case is 7.1 MW with a COP of 4.0.


Committed to industry collaboration



Eurammon is an association of companies, institutions and individuals who share a common goal: to encourage a sustainable approach to refrigeration and heat pump engineering. Since its inception in 1996, Eurammon has advocated the use of natural refrigerants. Alfa Laval is a founding member of the association.

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Alfa Laval is a member of The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) which is the voice of the European heat pump sector in Brussels. The vision of EHPA is that in a fully decarbonized Europe, heat pump technologies are the number one heating and cooling solution. They are a central part of a renewable, sustainable and smart energy system

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IAR is an American technical member organization with industry representation from all facets of the natural refrigeration and heat pump community, including manufacturers, engineers, contractors, end-users, academics, scientists, trainers, and more. IIAR is a leading advocate for the safe, reliable and efficient use of ammonia and other natural refrigerants

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Making efficiency last for decades

A poorly functioning heat exchanger may affect safety, product quality and energy costs. Failure may lead to costly downtime and major losses in production. By regular and proactive maintenance of your gasketed plate heat exchanger performance is preserved and operations kept trouble-free and predictable.

We have the expertise to help you whether you experience a problem today, wish to prevent future issues or want to solve the problem yourself with our online troubleshooter.

See our total service solutions

Consultant? System integrator?

Are you a consultant? Look here! With expertise from decades of experience in heat exchange, Alfa Laval offers knowledgeable resources for today’s heating and cooling challenges. Discover answers to complex questions on everything from energy efficiency to natural refrigerants, along with helpful tools that make it simpler to find the right technology for your application.

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HVAC and the Sustainable cities

Consuming more than two-thirds of the world’s energy, our cities play a crucial role in tackling the climate crisis. A considerable part of cities’ energy consumption is for heating and cooling, which means improving energy efficiency is paramount. Alfa Laval has almost a century of experience in heat transfer and recovery and aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. Let us be your partner in the transformation to a sustainable tomorrow.

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