Simulation of a combined heating, cooling and domestic hot water system based on ground source absorption heat pump

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

72 Scopus Citations
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  • Wei Wu
  • Tian You
  • Baolong Wang
  • Wenxing Shi
  • Xianting Li


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Journal / PublicationApplied Energy
Online published24 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


The amount of energy used for heating and domestic hot water (DHW) is very high and will keep increasing. The conventional ground source electrical heat pump used in heating-dominated buildings has the problems of thermal imbalance, decrease of soil temperature, and deterioration of heating performance. Ground source absorption heat pump (GSAHP) is advantageous in both imbalance reduction and primary energy efficiency (PEE) improvement; however, the imbalance is still unacceptable in the warmer parts of cold regions. A combined heating/cooling/DHW (HCD) system based on GSAHP is proposed to overcome this problem. The GSAHPs using generator absorber heat exchange (GAX) and single-effect (SE) cycles are simulated to obtain the performance under various working conditions. Different HCD systems in Beijing and Shenyang are simulated comparatively in TRNSYS, based on which the thermal imbalance, soil temperature, heat recovery, and energy efficiency are analyzed. Results show that GSAHP-GAX-HCD is suitable for Beijing and GSAHP-SE-HCD is suitable for Shenyang. The imbalance ratio can be reduced to -14.8% in Beijing and to 6.0% in Shenyang with an annual soil temperature variation of only 0.5. °C and 0.1. °C. Furthermore, about 20% and 15% of the total condensation/absorption heat is recovered to produce DHW, and the PEE can reach 1.516 in Beijing and 1.163 in Shenyang. The combined HCD systems can achieve a PEE improvement of 23.6% and 44.4% compared with the normal heating/cooling systems.

Research Area(s)

  • Domestic hot water, Ground source absorption heat pump, Heat recovery, Heating, Primary energy efficiency, Thermal imbalance