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[en] Highlights: • The opportunity of humid air latent heat exploitation by DX-SAHP is investigated. • A set of experimental tests confirms this opportunity and quantifies it as relevant. • A parametric analysis is performed, via simulation, to deepen the subject. • The energy gain is relevant during both night and daytime. - Abstract: Nowadays, the exploitation of environmental exergy resources for heating purposes (solar energy, convection heat transfer from ambient air, moist air humidity condensation) by means of properly designed heat pump systems is a possible opportunity. In particular, the use of direct expansion solar assisted heat pumps (DX-SAHP) is investigated in this study, when a bare external plate (the solar collector) is kept at temperatures lower than the dew point temperature of ambient air, so that condensation takes place on it. The potential of this technology is settled and an instrumented prototype of a small DX-SAHP system is used to verify the actual performance of the system, in terms of specific thermal energy delivered to the user, efficiency and regulation capabilities. Results clearly show that the contribution of the condensation is significant (20%–30% of the total harvested energy) overnight or in cloudy days with very low or no solar irradiation, and must be taken into account in a system model devoted to describe the DX-SAHP behavior. During daytime, the percentage gain decreases but is still consistent. By investigating along these lines, the heat due to condensation harvested by the collector is found to be a function of the dew-point temperature alone.