Towards low carbon homes – a simulation analysis of building-integrated air-source heat pump systems

2012-03-26T12:59:23Z (GMT) by Paul Rowley Loic Cabrol
A comparative transient simulation analysis for domestic buildings with a floor-embedded heating system coupled to a modern air source heat-pump (ASHP) has been carried out using the TRNSYS numerical modeling environment for various UK locations. The effects of heat-pump control during off-peak electricity tariff periods in conjunction with varying building fabric characteristics were analysed and the results show that for the locations investigated, running costs and CO2 emissions were lower for the ASHP platform than for a comparative gas boiler heating system. It was also found that by utilizing the thermal mass of a concrete floor slab or by integrating external insulation, acceptable comfort levels during the heating season were maintained when operating the ASHP solely during off-peak tariff periods. A thinner concrete floor slab containing phase change material (PCM) provided a slightly improved comfort level during winter and also reduced overheating during summer in buildings with a high level of insulation. Finally, when utilising a floor-embedded PCM material, it was found that the thermal properties of the PCM material must be carefully matched with case-specific building fabric thermal performance parameters in order to ensure effective internal environmental control.