Thermia Heat Pumps – Heat Pump History #2

Many of my clients in Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and beyond, often see heat pumps as a relatively new, untested and alien concept. The fact is that the first heat pump patent was issued way back in 1912!

Throughout this series I will be tracing the long legacy of heat pump technology and also highlighting other significant moments in time, to hopefully give you some perspective, reaffirming that heat pumps are a historically successful heating solution.

Last time we started in 1748 with William Cullen’s first demonstration of refrigeration, and arrived in 1912 when the first heat pump patent was issued in Switzerland. This time, the history of Thermia heat pumps is our focus.

Thermia, our ground source heat pump manufacturer, has such a rich history that I’ve decided to dedicate this article to exploring how the company became one of Europe’s most successful innovators of renewable heating technology. Let’s begin with a look at the roots of Thermia’s innovation, as detailed in their brochure, which you can download here:

Thermia Heat Pump Brochure

3.41 MB 183 downloads


“Thermia’s history starts with its founder, Per Andersson, born 1861. Just ten years old he started his career as an apprentice black smith, and he later began his own production of kitchen stoves. The driving force behind his business was his desire to always develop better and better products. The stoves had to be more efficient, easier to use and more fuel efficient. When one model was ready, work began immediately to develop one that was even better.

In time the range expanded to include wood-burning boilers, coke-fired boilers, hot water tanks, radiators and numerous other products used for heating. Always with the same basic philosophy: to have the market’s best products. Or in the words of Per Andersson himself:” The products one releases must be not only the best of their time, but before their time, over time.” To this day, long after Per Andersson’s passing in 1942, this philosophy is alive and well at Thermia. And even if Thermia’s focus since 1973 has been on heat pump production, the same drive and passion still inspire the company to advance – to constantly develop, with the aim of continuous improvements.”

Thermia heat pumps – Innovation timeline

1923 – Thermia were founded in Arvika, Sweden by Per Anderson (1861-1942), a man who throughout his lifetime was driven by innovation. The impetus behind his business was his desire to always develop better and more efficient products. Anderson began his career as a blacksmith’s apprentice at age 10.

1973 – The very first heat pump with integrated hot water tank is developed by Thermia as a result of a collaboration project.

1977 – Thermia’s training school for retailers is started. No one is permitted to be a Thermia retailer without having documented product knowledge. All to ensure quality and reliability for the customers.

1980 – A revolutionary heat exchanger is developed, with significantly increased heat transfer and reduced amounts of refrigerant. The latter is a benefit from an environmental point of view. One of the key people behind the innovation is Thermia’s head of development.

1984 – Control computer for fully automatic control of the heat pump, hot water and additional heater is introduced in the Thermia range.

1993 – Thermia presents the first heat pump with all the functional components combined in a single module. Heating, hot water, electrical heating element and control computer are combined in a practical and space saving “package” which takes up only 60 x 60 cm of floor area.

1994 – A scroll compressor with high efficiency, great reliability and low noise level is introduced in Thermia products.

2002  A scroll compressor specially developed for heat pump application is introduced in Thermia products. This delivers significantly higher annual efficiency.

2004 – Thermia presents its TWS technology which results in the market’s best hot water production. The technology uses stratification to deliver more economical water heating.

2005 – The Thermia Diplomat Optimum is introduced. It is the first ground source heat pump with automatic variable speed control, which adjusts the operation of the circulation pumps according to the prevailing heating requirements.

2007 – Thermia’s heat pump R&D centre in Arvika is opened by the Swedish prince Carl Philip. The centre develops heat pumps for climates ranging from tropical to arctic, allowing Thermia to satisfy demands from around the world.

The Thermia museum in Arvika opens. Boilers, ovens and wood-fired water heaters from the last century sit alongside modern heat pumps in the premises used by Thermia between 1923 and 1968.

Source Energy & Thermia

Source Energy engineers have over 45 years of combined experience in installing Thermia/Danfoss ground and air source heat pumps. Thermia is part of the Danfoss group; one of the highest quality manufacturers of ground and air source heat pumps.

Our partnership with Thermia heat pumps means that we can offer a manufacturers warranty of up to 7 years.

“Ashgrove Energy have had the pleasure of working with Source Energy as one of our preferred installers over the past few years and we commend them for their professionalism and quality of workmanship. Our clients have always been in very capable and professional hands” – Jay Farrell, Regional Sales Manager, Ashgrove Energy – Suppliers for Thermia Heat Pumps.

Read more about Thermia heat pumps »

Thermia Ground Source Heat Pump Installers - Source Energy

Jim is the Midlands & East England Heat Pump Expert, working with clients in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Call 0800 865 4328 or request a quote to discuss how your project could benefit from the installation of a ground or air source heat pump.