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This paper discusses a technical comparison of a direct expansion ground-source heat pump (DX-GSHP) and an air source heat pump (ASHP). To lower the ground heat exchanger size for cost reduction purposes, the system performance of a hybrid system is also evaluated using a supplementary air evaporator combined with the DX-GSHP. Detailed screening models previously developed for ASHPs and DX-GHSPs are first used to compare the seasonal performance of these two options for a residential building in the cold-climate city of Montreal, Canada. Then, the model is adopted for performance evaluation of the hybrid system. Additionally, different parameters including borehole total length and heat pump capacity are varied to evaluate their impact on the seasonal system performance. The results show that by adequate sizing, total and peak electricity consumption of the DX-GSHP system can be reduced by 50% and 40%, respectively, compared to an undersized DX-GSHP system. However, system energy savings from using a hybrid ground-source heat pump (HGSHP) are marginal compared to a DX-GSHP (5.5% for a low-capacity system), and these savings are happening during the shoulder months. Such results highlight the importance of further investigations in the area of DX-GSHPs to reduce the borehole installation cost and increase its performance.

Citation: 2016 Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO, Transactions 2016, Vol 122 pt. 2