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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2000.TherSieProcVol2.870
176 pages

C. A. de Swardt
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Laboratory for Energy, Rand Afrikaans University, P.O. Box 524 Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa

Josua Petrus Meyer
Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa


In this study the performance of a reversible ground-source heat pump, coupled to a municipality water reticulation system, is compared experimentally and with simulations to a conventional air-source heat pump for space cooling and heating. A typical municipality water reticulation system comprises hundreds of kilometres of pipes designed in loops that will ensure adequate circulation of the water. This result's in a substantial heat exchanger with great potential. Indirect heat transfer occurs between the refrigerant and ground via the municipality water reticulation system that acts as the water-to- ground heat exchanger. The experimental and simulated comparisons of the ground-source system to the air-source system are conducted in both the cooling and heating cycles. Climatalogical statistics are used to calculate the capacities and coefficients of performance of the ground-source and air-source heat pumps. Results obtained from measurements and simulations indicate that the utilization of municipality water reticulation systems as a heat source/sink is a viable method of optimizing energy usage in the air-conditioning industry, especially when used in the heating mode.

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