Monday, March 22, 2010

PhD student begins on the equinox

21 March: Blaise (the PhD Student) came round for a good look at the system, and had many questions, to fully understand what I have done so far. He is a mechanical engineer, so has no problem with technical aspects of heatpumps. He has written the abstract for an article for future publication and presentation at SET, co-authored by Blaise, myself and our Professor. I have offered a revised abstract, reflecting the long thought process that has gone into this project. (see another posting here).
The evidence that this system of sunboxes works beneficially has become visible - but it will have to be quantified if it is to be presented to the Shanghai SET Conference in August 2010. (Sustainable Energy Technologies 2010).
    The first main task for Blaise will be to ascertain the COP (Coefficient of performance) of the Heatpump (without Sunbox augmentation), and then evaluate the effect of the Sunboxes. He wants to put some datalogging thermocouples inside the machine (to the evaporator and compressor). Although key temperatures are visible on the control panel, they also need a human data recorder to get results - which is very tedious.
    As we move into the summer, the emphasis will move from winter heating to summer hotwater, and the spare energy from the sunboxes will be going into the earth - so Interseasonal storage will be very important. Frequent checking of the earth temperature will be necessary.
    During his visit, the thermostat worked very well, and rather precisely on the point of sunset, the pump was turned off as the radiance from the sky dropped, and the air temperature became low enough to turn off the pump.  Later in the evening when the heatpump was heating the house (and thus cooling the glycol) the sunbox pump came on again for short while the air temperature was higher than the ground loop. The Delta-T for switching on the pump is 3.0ÂșC.

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