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Girard, A., Gago, E. J., Muneer, T., & Caceres, G. (2015). Higher ground source heat pump COP in a residential building through the use of solar thermal collectors. Renew. Energy, 80, 26–39.
Abstract: This article investigates the feasibility of achieving higher performance from ground-source heat-pumps (GSHP) in space heating mode through the use of solar thermal collectors. A novel simulation tool for solar-assisted ground-source heat-pumps (SGSHP) is presented with an analysis of the influence of solar collectors on the improvement of heat pump performance. Solar radiation and climate temperature data of 19 European cities were used to perform simulations of SGSHP and GSHP systems considering a typical residential house. Overall performance coefficients (COPsys) varied from northern to southern locations between 4.4 and 5.8 for SGSHP and between 4.3 and 5.1 for GSHP. Results show that solar collectors coupling has more impact on performance improvement in regions that benefit from higher irradiance. However, greater running cost savings are achieved in milder climate conditions. Both heat-pump systems are able to effectively contribute to carbon footprint reductions for residential buildings, especially in countries where fossil fuels are the primary source of electricity generation. SGSHP payback periods are found between 8.5 and 23 years from northern to southern localities, making such heating system an economic heating option. SGSHPs are best suited for high irradiance and cool climate locations such as the mountainous regions in southern Europe. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.