Investigation of solar assisted heat pump system integrated with high-rise residential buildings

Fu, Yu (2014) Investigation of solar assisted heat pump system integrated with high-rise residential buildings. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The wide uses of solar energy technology (solar thermal collector, photovoltaic and heat pump systems) have been known for centuries. These technologies are intended to supply domestic hot water and electricity. However, these technologies still face some barriers along with fast development. In this regards, the hybrid energy system combines two or more alternative technologies to help to increase the total efficiency of the system. Solar assisted heat pump systems (SAHP) and photovoltaic/thermal collector heat pump systems (PV/T-HP) are hybrid systems that convert solar radiation to thermal energy and electricity, respectively. Furthermore, they absorb heat first, and then release heat in the condenser for domestic heating and cooling.

The research initially investigates the thermal performance of novel solar collector panels. The experimental results indicate an average daily efficiency ranging from 0.75 to 0.96 with an average of 0.83. Compared with other types of solar collectors, the average daily efficiency of novel solar thermal collectors is the highest.

The research work further focuses on the integrated system which combines solar collector and air source heat pump (ASHP). The individual components, configurations and layout of the system are illustrated. Theoretical analysis is conducted to investigate thermodynamic cycle and heat transfer contained in the hybrid system. Laboratory tests are used to gauge the thermal performance of the novel SAHP. A comparison is made between the modelling and testing results, and the reasons for error formation are analysed.

The research then considers the specially designed PV/T collector that employs the refrigerant R134a for cooling of PV modules and utilizes the glass vacuum tubes for reducing the heat loss to the ambient air. The PV/T collector consists of 6 glass vacuum tube-PV module-aluminium sheet-copper tube (GPAC) sandwiches which are connected in series. The theoretical analysis and experimental tests all give the satisfactory results of up to 2.9% improvement of electrical efficiency compared with those without cooling.

The research finally focuses on the integrated heat pump system where the PV/T collector acts as evaporator. Based on the energy balance of the four main components of the heat pump system, a mathematical model of the heat pump system is presented. When the instantaneous ambient temperature and solar radiation are provided, results are obtained for the spatial distributions of refrigerant conditions, which include temperature, pressure, vapour quality and enthalpy. Detailed experimental studies are carried out in a laboratory. Three testing modes are proposed to investigate the effect of solar radiation, condenser water flow rate and condenser water supply temperature on energy performance. The testing results show that an average coefficient of performance (COP) reached 3.8,4.3 and 4.0 under the three testing modes with variable radiation, condenser water supply water temperature and water flow rate, respectively. However, this could be much higher for a large capacity heat pump system using large PV panels on building roofs. The COP increases with the increasing solar radiation, but decreases as the condenser water supply temperature and water flow rate increases.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Riffat, S.B.
Zhu, J.
Keywords: Heat pumps, Solar collectors, Solar collector panels, Residential heating and ventilation
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction > TH7005 Heating and ventilation. Air conditioning
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 14582
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 13:38
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 14:44

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