Investigations of novel heat pump systems for low carbon homes

Mempouo, B. (2011) Investigations of novel heat pump systems for low carbon homes. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The European standard EN15450 states that the Coefficient of Performance (COP) target range for a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) installation should lie within the range of 3.5 to 4.5; when used for heating a building, and a typical Air-Source Heat Pump (ASHP) has a COP of 2.0 to 3.0 at the beginning of the heating season and then decrease gradually as the ambient air becomes cooler, whereas a typical GSHP is in the range of 3.5 –4.0, also at the beginning of the heating season and then decrease gradually as heat is drawn from the ground. For these reasons, in the middle of winter, when the COP drop, the heat pumps can generally only be considered as a ‘pre-heating’ method for producing higher temperature heat such as domestic hot water. In addition soil presents certain difficulties, due to the high cost of drilling to position coils in the ground compare to air source, although frost formation on the evaporator in winter limits also limit the use of air source. Though technology advances or are needed to overcome those issues.

The aims of this project, therefore, were firstly to reduce the drilling length of the ground heat exchanger of the ground source heat pumps and to maintain high COPs of the air and ground source heat pumps from beginning to the end of the heating season; and secondly to develop a viable alternative evaporator for air source heat pumps to reduce frost formation during winter. These were achieved; the first aim through the combination of ground loops with solar-air panels or solar roof/collectors roof to ground heat exchangers loops to reduce the length of the boreholes, and to reduce the freezing effects around the boreholes, hence increase or maintain a constant temperature during heating season. The second aim was also achieved through development and validation of novel air source heat pump evaporator, using Direct Expansion (DX) black flat plate absorber or/and vacuum tubes for frost reduction.

In this thesis, in order to achieve the above aims; four aspects of investigations have been independently investigated as following:

1- Preliminary investigation on Direct Expansion (DX) Solar Source Heat Pump system.

2- Investigation on the performance of the DX- PV/heat pipe heat pump system to reduce frost and enhance the COP of the air source heat pumps,

3- A small scale testing on the heat injection on energy piles for residential buildings for earth charging by means of solar roof/collectors

4- A field trial testing of the performance of the combination of solar-air thermal collectors with conventional GSHP with shorter ground heat exchangers (48m deep) to charge the ground and reduce freezing effects around the piles after heating cycle.

From the simulation results, the novel PV/hp-HP system has a COP ranging from 4.65 to 6.16 with an average of 5.35. The condenser capacity ranging from 33 to 174 W would provide the heat source for space heating and domestic hot water. The energy performance of the novel PV/hp-heat pump was not as good as expected due to the low solar radiation. It should be much better in some low latitude locations with better solar radiation.

The results of this thesis have shown that the length of ground source boreholes could be considerably reduce by about 60% compare to conventional boreholes using a combination of solar-air collectors with the GSHP and the average COP of 3.7 was achieved.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Riffat, S.B.
Cooper, E.
Keywords: heat pump systems, low carbon homes, architecture, energy conservation
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction > TH7005 Heating and ventilation. Air conditioning
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 12043
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 10:52
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 09:57

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