Conference Year



Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump, Extremum Seeking Control, Modeling, Modelica


The ground source heat pump (GSHP) technology is a renewable alternative for space conditioning by rejecting/absorbing heat to/from the ground, which has demonstrated higher energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings. As the system capacity is limited by the initial cost of construction of ground-loop heat exchanger (GHE), developing the so-called Hybrid GSHP system by utilizing supplemental heat rejecters such as cooling towers has emerged as a cost-effective alternative. In practice, operational efficiency of Hybrid GSHP system mainly depends on 1) the actual characteristics of heat pump, cooling tower, GHE and other equipment; 2) ambient air and ground conditions. In particular, the GHE heat transfer is heavily affected by the ground thermal characteristics which, however, is difficult and expensive in practice to determine due to the complexity of soil type and distribution. In addition, the actual cooling tower characteristics can vary significantly. Such uncertainties bring forth dramatic difficulty for successful application of model based control or optimization methods. In this study, an extremum seeking control (ESC) strategy is proposed for efficient operation of a hybrid GSHP system with cooling tower, which minimizes the total power (i.e. GHE loop water pump, cooling tower fan and pump, and the heat-pump compressor) consumption by tuning the air-flow rate of the cooling tower fan and the GHE loop water flow rate. To evaluate the proposed control method, a Modelica based model of the Hybrid GSHP system is developed by utilizing the Buildings Library developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which consists of a 20-borehole GHE, a water-to-water heat pump, a counter-flow cooling tower and a plate heat exchanger. The transient conduction model of vertical GHE in the Buildings Library is adopted, which is based on a finite-volume method inside the borehole and cylindrical source model outside the borehole. A variable-flow water pump model is constructed for the GHE water loop, which gives power consumption under different operating scenarios. A cooling tower model in the Buildings Library is adopted, which is a static polynomial model based on a York cooling tower correlation. The relative air flow rate can be regulated to maintain the leaving water temperature at the setpoint, and then the corresponding fan power consumption is obtained. The heat pump model is based on the evaporator temperature, condenser temperature and Carnot efficiency. An inner-loop proportional-integral (PI) controller is implemented to regulate the evaporator leaving water temperature at 7 deg-C. Under the air wet-bulb temperature of 35 deg-C and dry-bulb temperature 23 deg-C, steady-state simulation of the plant model yields the static map of the total power with respect to the cooling tower relative air flow rate and the GHE water flow rate, which indicates about 25% power variation across the adjustable range of inputs. Simulation was conducted in two conditions: change in evaporator inlet water temperature and change in ambient air condition. The simulation study under way is to validate the effectiveness of the proposed ESC strategy, and the potential for energy saving will also be evaluated.

2472_presentation.pdf (568 kB)
Extremum Seeking Control of Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump System