The ground-coupled heat pump (GCHP) system is becoming attractive for air-conditioning in some moderate-weather regions due to its high energy efficiency and reliable operation capability. However, when the technology is used in buildings where there is only cooling load in hot-weather areas like Hong Kong, the heat rejected into the ground by the GCHP systems will accumulate around the ground heat exchangers (GHE). This heat accumulation will result in degradation of system performance and increment of system operating costs. This problem can be resolved by using the hybrid ground-coupled heat pump (HGCHP) system, which uses supplemental heat rejecters to reject the accumulated heat. This paper presents a practical hourly simulation model of the HGCHP system by modeling the heat transfer process of the system's main components. The computer program based on this hourly simulation model can be used to calculate the hour-by-hour operation data of the HGCHP system. As a case study, both a HGCHP system and a traditional GCHP system are designed for a hypothetic private residential building located in Hong Kong, and the economic comparisons are conducted between these two types of systems. The simulation results show that the HGCHP system can effectively solve the heat accumulation problem and reduce both the initial costs and operating costs of the air-conditioning system in the building.
- Ground heat exchanger
- Hot-weather area
- Hybrid ground-coupled heat pump systems
- Simulation model
- Supplemental heat rejecter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering