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The Ground Source Heat Pump: A System Analysis With a Particular Focus on The U-Pipe Borehole Heat Exchanger

[+] Author Affiliations
Hatef Madani, Jose Acuña, Joachim Claesson, Per Lundqvist, Björn Palm

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

Paper No. IHTC14-22395, pp. 395-402; 8 pages
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference
  • 2010 14th International Heat Transfer Conference, Volume 4
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 8–13, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4939-2 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3879-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The mass flow rate of the secondary refrigerant flowing in the borehole heat exchanger of a ground source heat pump is an influential system parameter whose variation can influence the pumping power, efficiency of the pump, heat distribution in the borehole, heat pump heat capacity, and above all, the system Overall Coefficient Of Performance (COP). The present paper uses both in-situ field measurements and modeling to evaluate these effects. From the field measurements, it can be concluded that the thermal contact between U-pipe channels increases as the brine mass flow rate decreases. Furthermore, the modeling results show that there is a certain optimum brine mass flow rate which gives a maximum overall system COP. Different optimum mass flow rates are obtained for different compressor speed and it is shown that their relation is almost linear. However, concerning system COP maximization, it can be concluded that a constant but carefully-selected brine mass flow rate can still be an appropriate option for the variable capacity heat pump unit studied in the present paper where the compressor frequency changes between 30Hz and 75Hz. Concerning the heat capacity maximization in the system, a variable speed brine pump can be used to help the insufficiently-sized compressor to cover the peak heat demand of the building.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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