Geothermal Heat pump, refrigerants, cycle, thermodynamics
One of the main objectives of the European Commission in the buildings sector, responsible for approximately 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions, is to identify technological solutions capable of reducing energy consumption and at the same time greenhouse gas emissions. For this purpose, ground source heat pump system (GSHPs) is a technology of particular interest that promises to considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions of HVAC systems (up to 44% compared to air source heat pumps). In order to develop and test innovative GSHPs to be used for heating and cooling in the various European climatic zones, EU has funded the GEO4CIVHIC project, which will have a duration of 4 years and will end in 2022. As part of the project, the problem of identifying new generation low environmental impact refrigerants to be used in innovative GSHPs is tackled. In this article, we report the results of an energetic and exergetic analysis of the performance of heat pumps based on simulations carried out both on simple reverse cycles and on more complex cycles. Low pressure alternative fluids have been considered as an alternative to R134a and high pressure fluids as an alternative to R410A. The simulations were conducted at various heat sink and heat source temperature conditions, in order to evaluate the GSHPs performance in the whole range of real conditions that can be found in Europe. Particular attention was paid to the compression phase, with the aim to simulate the compressor performance in a more realistic way than simply assuming constant isentropic efficiency.