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High temperature heat pump for exploitation of low temperature geothermal sources

To develop high power (over 250 kw) high temperature (up to 80 celsius) heat pump for industrial exploitation of low temperature (up to 40 celsius) geothermal sources.

The global ecological situation is more and more affected by the extensive usage of fossil energy sources which is causing high pollution and global heating. The problem of fossil energy sources is also the limited quantity and high price. It is a fact that these issues will be even more significant in the near future. Global demand for heating energy is growing while the increase of exploitation efficiency is becoming more important than ever. Effective usage is also economically and environmentally much more attractive than the heating of greenhouses, parking places and pools. Fossil energy sources are especially limited in European Union countries. Their dependency on imports will be more and more critical. This is why one of the main orientations in the EU is achieving energy independence, with the development of policies on efficient energy use and the use of renewable sources. Geothermal energy is treated as a renewable, infinite and inexhaustible energy source. The most common principle of its exploitation is acquiring the energy from geothermal water (hot water wells). In many cases, the direct usage of 40 degree Celsius underground water is not possible or economically justified. Yet the temperature of used water (this is geothermal water after its first exploitation cycle) is still too high (40 degrees Celsius) to be re-injected or poured into the surface waters. This geothermal water, so called wasted, still has great energy potential. To enable the effective usage of water at 40 degrees Celsius, a high temperature heat pump is required with excellent efficiency. With this kind of pump it would be possible to heat water up to 80 degrees Celsius and re-use it for heating purposes again. The goal of the project is therefore to develop a high power (over 250kW) high temperature (up to 80 degrees Celsius) heat pump for industrial exploitation of low temperature (up to 40 degrees Celsius) geothermal sources. Existing geothermal heat pumps on the market are suitable only for use in low temperature heating systems, which limits their application mainly to new buildings, and they are not designed to meet the demands of high temperature supply applicable to older heating systems already installed in many buildings all over Europe. Traditional heating systems already installed all over Europe, comprise of fossil fuel boiler and standard radiators ֠a high temperature heating system. These systems have been designed in order to use a 80-90 degree Celsius water temperature with a drop of 10 - 20 degrees Celsius. Commercially available heat pumps are designed to provide water up to 60 degrees Celsius with a temperature drop of 5-6 degrees Celsius. The restricted maximum supply temperature (circa 60 degrees Celsius) of currently available heat pumps has been a major barrier to the market penetration of heat pumps. This barrier can be effectively raised only if a heat pump system of optimum COP (Coefficient Of Performance) is developed where it can provide a water temperature of up to 80 degrees Celsius. Such heat pumps could foster the substitution of fossil fuel heating systems. In order to overcome the issues described above, research and development of new and innovative electrical heat pump technologies are necessary in terms of working fluids, compressors, etc. The research framework will be based on the energetic conversion using various cooling mediums. Heat output, power and capacity of the compressors, energy consumption, heat number and others will be calculated and projected assuring optimal efficiency. Based on the mathematical model, a computer programme will be written to simulate a heat pump, depending on the temperature differences of a low temperature source and a temperature regime of radiator heating. After the operation analysis, an additional economic analysis will take place to clearly define the required investment, operating expenses and temperature regime of a heat pump. After the research activities, heat pump construction will take place. It will comprise of the development, construction and installment of all mechanics, measurement and regulation elements accompanied with the development of software for regulation and remote operation. Keywords: geothermal energy, heat pump.
Acronym: 
HTH PUMP
Project ID: 
4 117
Start date: 
01-09-2007
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
480 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Geothermal Energy
Market Area: 
Geothermal energy

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