Problem 9.4 - A R744 (CO2) Home Geothermal Heat-Pump

Introduction and Description

With the global quest for energy efficiency, there is renewed interest in Geothermal Heat Pumps which were have been in limited use for more than 60 years. Essentially this technology relies on the fact that a few meters below the surface of the earth the temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year (around 55°F (13°C)), warmer than the air above it during winter, and cooler during summer. This means that we can design a heat pump which can combine hot water and space heating in winter in which the earth is used as a heat source (rather than the outside air) at a considerable increase in coefficient of performance COP. Similarly, with suitable valving, we can use the same system in summer for hot water heating and air conditioning in which the earth is used as a heat sink, rather than the outside air. This is achieved by using a Ground Loop in order to enable heat transfer with the earth, as decribed in the USDOE website: Geothermal Heat Pumps. Another description of geothermal heat pumps has been provided by David White Services of Southeastern Ohio and includes a youtube video by WaterFurnace: GEOTHERMAL How does it work.

Problem 9.4 - We wish to do a preliminary thermodynamic analysis of the following CO2 home geothermal heat pump system designed for wintertime hot water and space heating. Notice that with suitable valving this system can be used both in winter for space heating and in summer for air conditioning, with hot water heating throughout the year.

Notice that the gas cooler section includes both the hot water and space heater. We assume that 50°C is a reasonable maximum hot water temperature for home usage.

Using the conditions shown on the diagram:

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Engineering Thermodynamics by Israel Urieli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License