Photovoltaic and solar-assisted ground-source heat pump systems
Varney, K. E. and Vahdati, M. M. (2013) Photovoltaic and solar-assisted ground-source heat pump systems. Proceedings of the ICE - Engineering Sustainability, 166 (1). pp. 32-45. ISSN 1751-7680
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1680/ensu.11.00006
This review investigates the performance of photovoltaic and solar-assisted ground-source heat pumps in which solar heat is transferred to the ground to improve the coefficient of performance. A number of studies indicate that, for systems with adequately sized ground heat exchangers, the effect on system efficiency is small: about 1% improvement if the heat source is photovoltaic, a 1–2% decline if the source is solar thermal. With possible exceptions for systems in which the ground heat exchanger is undersized, or natural recharge from ground water is insufficient, solar thermal energy is better used for domestic hot water than to recharge ground heat. This appears particularly true outside the heating season, as although much of the heat extracted from the ground can be replaced, it seems to have little effect on the coefficient of performance. Any savings in electrical consumption that do result from an improved coefficient can easily be outweighed by an inefficient control system for the circulation pumps.