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A comparison between geothermal absorption and compression heat pumps for space conditioning

Kummert, M. and Bernier, M. and Costa, J. and Paris, J. (2007) A comparison between geothermal absorption and compression heat pumps for space conditioning. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 64 (4). pp. 467-487. ISSN 0020-7233

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Abstract

This article compares the performance of geothermal absorption and compression heat pump systems for space conditioning. The comparison is performed on an R-2000 residence for three Canadian locations representing three different climates and energy contexts: Montréal, Edmonton and Vancouver. The analysis is based on simulations carried out using TRNSYS. Results indicate that the required length of the geothermal heat exchanger is significantly different for the two types of heat pumps (compression and absorption). In Edmonton, geothermal absorption heat pump systems have a lower life-cycle cost and emit fewer greenhouse gases than geothermal compression heat pump system. In Montréal, both systems have similar life-cycle costs. Since electricity is mainly hydro-based the greenhouse gas emissions are much lower for the compression system. In Vancouver, the compression system has both lower life-cycle costs and lower greenhouse gases emissions.