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Numerical Heat Transfer Comparison Study of Hybrid and Nonhybrid Ground Source Heat Pump Systems

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 16:16 by Nikola Kuzmic, Ying Lam E. Law, Seth B. Dworkin
Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) systems, if improperly designed may lead to overheating or overcooling of the ground. Good designs ensure properly balanced energy storage through adequately sizing ground-loops. Hybrid systems combine conventional Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) with GSHPs in order to significantly reduce the high installation costs of GSHPs. The hybrid systems are designed in such a way that GSHPs provide the base building energy demands while the conventional HVAC is used only during the peak hours. In general, all buildings can be divided into two main categories: cooling dominant and heating dominant. If a building is cooling dominant, ground temperature increases with time and in heating dominant cases it decreases. A severe ground temperature increase/decrease is referred to as ‘ground fouling’ because it can render the GSHP inoperable, as temperature differences are required to maintain controlled heat flow. This paper compares long-term operation of hybrid and nonhybrid GSHP systems in order to investigate the effectiveness of hybridization at alleviating ‘ground fouling’. A homespun 2D finite-volume model is proposed to study heat transfer in ground coupled heat pump systems and is verified against an analytical solution as well as experimental data. Through simulation of different building types, it is demonstrated that hybridization has potential to reduce ‘ground fouling’ but only in limited cases for which a large portion of the energy demands is being met by the conventional HVAC.



Ryerson University