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Ground Source Heat Pump

Abstract This chapter introduces one of the two main components of solar assisted ground source heat pumps: the ground source heat pump. Main technical aspects have been discussed, explaining the main factors that influence the energy performance and other relevant aspects of great importance for the particular combined application with solar thermal collectors.

Keywords Ground source heat pump Operating principles Ground heat exchanger typologies Energy performance


Heat pumps are already robust, and at the same time, a very promising technology. They are widely used in the building sector no matter the typology, office, school, single house or apartment building. Among various heat pump types, ground source heat pump (GSHP) has been extensively investigated recently since it is the most competitive HVAC system, in terms of performance (Kharseh et al. 2015). The fact that makes it so performing is the ground itself. Indeed, it has more stable temperature both along the day and along the year than the most widely spread air source heat pump (Emmi et al. 2015). Moreover, the risk of performance degradation, caused by frosting of the evaporator during the heating season, is basically reduced to zero, if GSHP is correctly designed. For these reasons GSHP are very valuable alternative in cold climates (Rinne and Syri 2013), if district heating is not available.

Ground source heat pumps can be classified, in accordance with (IEA Heat Pump Centre 2010), in:

• Ground-Coupled Heat Pumps (GCHPs)—ground is used as a heat source and sink and the heat extraction/dissipation is done with either vertical or horizontal Ground Heat exchangers (GHXs);

© The Author(s) 2017

F. Reda, Solar Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump Solutions, SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology,

DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-49698-6_1

  • • Groundwater Heat Pumps (GWHPs)—underground (aquifer) water is used as a heat source and sink;
  • • Surface Water Heat Pumps (SWHPs)—surface water (sea, lakes, ponds, etc.) is used as a heat source and sink.

The author has focused only on the first typology, since it can be potentially installed everywhere, not requiring any water source. GCHPs can be divided in two categories: direct exchange ground source heat pump (DX-GSHP) and secondary loop ground source heat pump (SL-GSHP). Both are classified as closed system. The difference between them stands in the refrigerant cycle. This will be further explained in the coming chapters. GCHPs performance and particular GHXs will be also examined in this chapter.

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