Development of an integrated building load-ground source heat pump model as a test bed to assess short- and long-term heat pump and ground loop performance
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Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) have the ability to significantly reduce the energy required to heat and cool buildings. Historically, deployment of GSHP's in the cooling-dominated Texas and Southwest region has been significantly less than in other regions of the United States. The long term technical and economic viability of GSHPs in arid regions such as Texas has been questioned due to failures of ground loop heat pump systems by early adopters. A proposed solution is to include a supplemental heat rejection (SHR) device to help offset the unbalanced ground loads. An integrated building load-ground source heat pump model is developed in this thesis and is designed to be a test bed for potential SHR devices. The model consists of discrete component models that can be mixed and matched to represent various types of buildings and ground source heat pumps. One of the unique features of the integrated model is the use of the Simulink/Matlab environment. This environment allows the user to develop component models that take advantage of the built-in functionality of Matlab and Simulink. Another unique feature is the full coupling of the building load, heat pump, and ground loop at every time step. The building load, heat pump, and ground loop models were chosen to allow for short time step simulations, which allows for a range of dynamic response times to be modeled and for different heat pump/SHR control methods to be explored. The integrated model can be used on any computer that has the Matlab and Simulink software. The building load model used, called HAMBASE, can model both residential and commercial buildings. HAMBASE was validated using the ASHRAE 140-2007 standard. The heat pump model uses readily available data provided by GSHP manufacturers to accurately model operation across a wide range of input conditions. The vertical borehole ground loop model, developed at Oklahoma State University, is based on Eskillson's g-function model, but included a one-dimensional numerical model to calculate the short term thermal response of the borehole and ground. The ground loop model utilizes GLHEPRO, a ground loop sizing and simulation tool, to create the required parameter files. Using the integrated building load-ground source heat pump model, a model of a single family house with a ground source heat pump was developed. The house model was validated by the results from eQuest and GELHPRO. A series of sensitivity studies were completed to determine dominant factors affecting the use of GSHPs in Texas and the Southwest regions of the United States. The results show that the life of a vertical borehole can be significantly extended/cut short if the ground parameters are properly/not properly designed prior to ground loop sizing.