Ground-Source Integrated Heat Pump for Near-Zero Energy Houses: Technology Status Report

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The energy service needs of a net-zero-energy house (ZEH) include space heating and cooling, water heating, ventilation, dehumidification, and humidification, depending on the requirements of the specific location. These requirements differ in significant ways from those of current housing. For instance, the most recent DOE buildings energy data (DOE/BED 2007) indicate that on average {approx}43% of residential buildings primary energy use is for space heating and cooling, vs. {approx}12% for water heating (about a 3.6:1 ratio). In contrast, for the particular prototype ZEH structures used in the analyses in this report, that ratio ranges from about 0.3:1 to 1.6:1 depending ... continued below

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Murphy, Richard W; Rice, C Keith; Baxter, Van D & Craddick, William G September 1, 2007.

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Description

The energy service needs of a net-zero-energy house (ZEH) include space heating and cooling, water heating, ventilation, dehumidification, and humidification, depending on the requirements of the specific location. These requirements differ in significant ways from those of current housing. For instance, the most recent DOE buildings energy data (DOE/BED 2007) indicate that on average {approx}43% of residential buildings primary energy use is for space heating and cooling, vs. {approx}12% for water heating (about a 3.6:1 ratio). In contrast, for the particular prototype ZEH structures used in the analyses in this report, that ratio ranges from about 0.3:1 to 1.6:1 depending on location. The high-performance envelope of a ZEH results in much lower space heating and cooling loads relative to current housing and also makes the house sufficiently air-tight to require mechanical ventilation for indoor air quality. These envelope characteristics mean that the space conditioning load will be closer in size to the water heating load, which depends on occupant behavior and thus is not expected to drop by any significant amount because of an improved envelope. In some locations such as the Gulf Coast area, additional dehumidification will almost certainly be required during the shoulder and cooling seasons. In locales with heavy space heating needs, supplemental humidification may be needed because of health concerns or may be desired for improved occupant comfort. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has determined that achieving their ZEH goal will require energy service equipment that can meet these needs while using 50% less energy than current equipment. One promising approach to meeting this requirement is through an integrated heat pump (IHP) - a single system based on heat pumping technology. The energy benefits of an IHP stem from the ability to utilize otherwise wasted energy; for example, heat rejected by the space cooling operation can be used for water heating. With the greater energy savings the cost of the more energy efficient components required for the IHP can be recovered more quickly than if they were applied to individual pieces of equipment to meet each individual energy service need. An IHP can be designed to use either outdoor air or geothermal resources (e.g., ground, ground water, surface water) as the environmental energy source/sink. Based on a scoping study of a wide variety of possible approaches to meeting the energy service needs for a ZEH, DOE selected the IHP concept as the most promising and has supported research directed toward the development of both air- and ground-source versions. This report describes the ground-source IHP (GS-IHP) design and includes the lessons learned and best practices revealed by the research and development (R&D) effort throughout. Salient features of the GS-IHP include a variable-speed rotary compressor incorporating a brushless direct current permanent magnet motor which provides all refrigerant compression, a variable-speed fan for the indoor section, a multiple-speed ground coil circuit pump, and a single-speed pump for water heating operation. Laboratory IHP testing has thus far used R-22 because of the availability of the needed components that use this refrigerant. It is expected that HFC R-410A will be used for any products arising from the IHP concept. Data for a variable-speed compressor that uses R-410A has been incorporated into the DOE/ORNL Mark VI Heat Pump Design Model (HPDM). HPDM was then linked to TRNSYS, a time-series-dependent simulation model capable of determining the energy use of building cooling and heating equipment as applied to a defined house on a sub-hourly basis. This provided a highly flexible design analysis capability for advanced heat pump equipment; however, the program also took a relatively long time to run. This approach was used with the initial prototype design reported in Murphy et al. (2007a) and in the business case analysis of Baxter (2007).

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2007/177
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/969947 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 969947
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc929317

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  • September 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 21, 2016, 6:39 p.m.

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Murphy, Richard W; Rice, C Keith; Baxter, Van D & Craddick, William G. Ground-Source Integrated Heat Pump for Near-Zero Energy Houses: Technology Status Report, report, September 1, 2007; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc929317/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.