Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering Technology

First Advisor

William J. Hutzel

Committee Member 1

Mark E. Shaurette

Committee Member 2

Chris Foreman


A heat pump assisted solar thermal system was designed, commissioned, tested and analyzed over a period of two years. The unique system uses solar energy whenever it is available, but switches to heat pump mode at night or whenever there is a lack of solar energy. The solar thermal energy is added by a variety of flat plat solar collectors and an evacuated tube heat pipe solar collector. The working medium in the entire system is a 50% mixture of propylene glycol and water for freeze protection. During the design and evaluation the primary / secondary pumping system was the focus of the evaluation. Testing within this research focused on the operation modes, pump stability, and system efficiency. It was found that the system was in full operation, the pumps were stable and that the efficiency factor of the system was 1.95.