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Impact of residential energy system sizing and control over heat pump’s system cost and reliability

Lira, Lucas and Kelly, Nicolas and Cooper, Catherine and Duncan, Douglas (2011) Impact of residential energy system sizing and control over heat pump’s system cost and reliability. In: 2nd International Conference in Microgeneration and Related Technologies, Glasgow April 4-6 2011, 2011-03-31.

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Using a simulation-based approach, this work analyses the impact that different energy unit sizes and control methodologies will have over the capital and running costs of an air source heat pump (ASHP) system to be installed in a refurbished dwelling. A total of 9 different heating configuration options were investigated and the cumulative cash flow over a period of 10 years (including initial investment) was utilized to compare the systems from a customer perspective. Additionally, in selected cases, the cycling of the heat pump was calculated in order to estimate the life-span of the device. The building and heat pump systems were simulated using TRNSYS energy system models. The results revealed the sensitivity of the system’s costs and life-span to its operating characteristics. For example, operating the system as a direct gas boiler replacement resulted in capital costs above £10,000 and the unit's life span reduced by half in comparison to more favourable operational strategies. The results highlight the fact that the successful technical and financial performance of heat pumps within the UK’s residential market will depend of designers, installers and end-users’ awareness regarding optimal operational strategies for this technology.