A flexible heat pump cycle for heat recovery

Yu, Z. , McKeown, A., Hajabdollahi Ouderji, Z. and Essadik, M. (2022) A flexible heat pump cycle for heat recovery. Communications Engineering, 1, 17. (doi: 10.1038/s44172-022-00018-3)

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Heat pumps will play a key role in transitioning domestic heating to fossil-free sources. However, improvement in energy efficiency and cost reduction are still needed. Current vapour-compression heat pumps are built upon the Evans-Perkins cycle which was originally designed for refrigeration applications. Once hot liquid refrigerant has transferred energy to the central heating system, it leaves the condenser with sensible heat which can be utilized. Here we report a modified and flexible Evans-Perkins heat pump cycle integrating heat recovery and storage which is then used as an ancillary heat source for the heat pump’s operation. It operates in a quasi-two-stage mode to theoretically save up to 20% in compressor power consumption compared with single-stage cycles. We build a prototype with off-the-shelf parts and demonstrate a practical 3.7% power saving at a heat production temperature of 35 °C. Power saving will further increase with heat supply temperature. We also qualitatively show that hot refrigerant exiting the condenser can be directly used for defrosting the evaporator, providing additional energy saving.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was mainly supported by EPSRC in the UK through the grant EP/V042033/1 and EP/V030515/1, but also benefited from other EPSRC grants EP/T022701/1, EP/P028829/1, EP/N020472/1, EP/R003122/1, and EP/N005228/1.
Keywords:Flexible heat pump, heat storage, defrosting, air source heat pump, heat recovery.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McKeown, Mr Andrew and Hajabdollahi Ouderji, Dr Zahra and Essadik, Miryam and Yu, Professor Zhibin
Authors: Yu, Z., McKeown, A., Hajabdollahi Ouderji, Z., and Essadik, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Communications Engineering
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2731-3395
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Communications Engineering 1:17
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
312686Flexible Air Source Heat pump for domestic heating decarbonisation (FASHION)Zhibin YuEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/V042033/1S&PS - Urban Studies
309846Decentralised water technologiesWilliam SloanEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/V030515/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment
300663Geothermally Sourced Power and Freshwater Generation for Eastern AfricaZhibin YuEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P028829/1ENG - Systems Power & Energy
172394Thermally Driven Heat Pump Based on an Integrated Thermodynamic Cycle for Low Carbon Domestic Heating (Therma-Pump)Zhibin YuEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N020472/1ENG - Systems Power & Energy
300273An ORC power plant integrated with thermal energy storage to utilise renewable heat sources for distributed H&PProject Number; 102883Zhibin YuEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R003122/1ENG - Systems Power & Energy
171763Dynamic Organic Rankine Cycle for Recovering Industrial Waste HeatZhibin YuEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N005228/1ENG - Systems Power & Energy