Renewable Energy, Vol.147, 2761-2773, 2020
Characterisation of efficiency losses in ground source heat pump systems equipped with a double parallel stage: A case study
This work focuses on methods to characterise the efficiency losses in existing ground-source heat pump (GSHP) installations under part-load conditions. Efficiency losses were identified and quantified in a GSHP by analysing key parameters measured and recorded by its monitoring system. The heating/cooling production facility comprises a vertical borehole heat exchanger field and a GSHP equipped with a double parallel stage and fixed-speed compressors within. The methodology was based on the EN-14825 standard and other recent works. However, the particularity of having two parallel stages motivated the creation of a modified theoretical approach, since the original methodology was only applicable to single-stage heat pumps. To obtain significant results, minute-resolved data acquired over time periods with almost constant thermal load (quasi-steady state conditions) proved necessary. The study concluded that the coefficient of performance can suffer reductions as high as 9% exclusively due to part-load operation. Most importantly, it demonstrated that the actual capacity of the GSHP as a whole shows an effective reduction ranging between 20% and 24% with respect to the declared capacity of the heat pump alone. Moreover, weekly-averaged data collected during 3 complete cool and warm seasons point to a progressive degradation from the date of commissioning. Finally, Ground Loop Design software (v2016) was used to validate the methodology. Consistent agreement was found between simulated and measured seasonal performance. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.