Analysis of Supplemental Heat Recovery/Recycling Designs for Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump Systems

Photo of Ravi Singh, Liliam Fernandez, Aamir Khan Students: Ravi Singh, Liliam Fernandez, Aamir Khan

Sponsor: The University of Texas at Austin

Date: Fall 2009

Requirements:
The SHR must reject heat, but preferably would recycle heat. The SHR was also required to operate in controlled intervals and in a closed loop, so as to prevent GHP water contamination. The flow rate for the GHP was constrained to be 3 gpm per cooling ton, and the temperature of the GHP water entering the ground loop could not exceed 95°F. The design team analyzed SHRs for residential and commercial applications. The design team also analyzed the economics of SHRs for two ownership cases, one for a new GHP owner and one for a retrofit case.

Problem:
The focus of this project was to find and analyze supplemental heat recovery/recycling (SHR) systems to be implemented into a ground-source heat pump (GHP) system in Austin, TX. The SHR must remain economically competitive with current GHP systems without an SHR and air-source heat pumps.

Solution:
After analyzing several SHRs, the design team concluded that hybrid ground-source heat pump systems with SHRs can be technically and economically feasible in Austin, TX. For a residential building, utilizing desuperheaters proved to be most economically favorable. However, for homeowners with a large pool who interested in a GHP system, using the pool as a heat sink via a plate heat exchanger is also economically feasible though not as economically attractive as a desuperheater. For a commercial building, a cooling tower proved to be most economical SHR option.

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