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Heat pump capacity effects on peak electricity consumption and total length of self- and solar-assisted shallow ground heat exchanger networks

Eslami Nejad, Parham
Cimmino, Massimo
Hosatte-Ducassy, Sophie
A new "self-assisted" Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system configuration is proposed to address the relatively high peak electricity demand of undersized GSHP systems equipped with auxiliary electric heater. In this configuration, ground heat exchangers (GHE) have two independent circuits: the first circuit is used to inject the extra heat produced by the heat pump into the ground during off-peak operations, while the second circuit is used to extract heat in the winter and reject heat in the summer for space heating and cooling, respectively. This configuration is compared against a "solar-assisted" configuration and a conventional single U-tube configuration. An analytical model for shallow GHE networks is used to evaluate the effects of the heat pump nominal capacity and the borehole total length on the total electricity consumption and peak electricity demand of the three configurations. Results show that the self-assisted configuration reduces the peak electricity demand by 47%, in a case with a 29% undersized GHE network and a 16% undersized heat pump nominal capacity, while it increases the total energy consumption by 4.1%. Using a solar-assisted configuration for the same sizing parameters reduces the peak electricity demand by only 6.3% and the total energy consumption by 3.8%.