Friday, July 23, 2010

Heat pump demonstration

The central stand is a solar hybrid panel with an
array of sunlamps in front to test out the performance.
22 July: I was invited to a very interesting presentation by Sasie and Christiani-tvet.

The exhibition is of a number of heatpump applications all mounted on free standing castors, so they can be organised in a teaching space, and used for training courses in HP technology.

I am glad to see that my recent research in hybridising HPs is pointing in the right direction. One of the rigs had a panel very like my black collectors, but the front face was PV - and the collectors are intended to stand out in the open, and not be in a glass enclosure. They have to run at lower temperature.
    Mine were originally going to be in the open but I didn't want to, for reasons well explained earlier - the main one being that I didn't want the condensation risk of having large diameter freezing pipes running through the house - with sunboxes, they are not freezing.

    Although the exhibition didn't show an intermediate example, ie panels like my Solar-Focus ones without the PV coating, I immediately recognised what this implied, and it was the first thing I looked at when I arrived (even before the presenter started speaking).  When the the two can work together, it is an outstandingly good direction to take for heat pump technology because the PV works up to 30% more efficiently being cooled down by the glycol. My questions on numerical balance, and on cost went unanswered though. Numerically a house needs 30sqm of PV to only 4-6m of thermal - but a house could still have a mixture. And an integrated PV-glycol panel must be very expensive, and is certainly not yet approved for FiT grid connection in the UK - it is still a prototype. the one shown here works with an adapted airsource HP. I think it is a separated system, i.e. the heat collector is on the left, and the HP is on the right. Most common Air source HPs are 'White Goods', ie, a closed box with inlets and outlets that you use for boiler replacement.

I use my solar sunbox panels with a standard GSHP because it is a good thermal management system and algorithmically adapts to the additional heat source without difficulty - just works more efficiently.

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