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Solar-Assisted Ground-Source (geothermal) Heat Pump System (SAGSHPS)
Powered by Solar Energy and the Earth's Geothermal Energy
There are Four 4 Operating modes of the Sweetwater Solar Assisted Geothermal Heat Pump System.
The ability of the SSAGHPS system to respond to hour by hour changes in both outdoor and indoor ambient conditions and system performance while maintaining maximum efficiency performance depend on close adherence to the control system logic. The description of the control sequence for the 4 different operations covers all of the major control logic.
Operating Mode One
1. Radiant Solar Energy Available No Demand for Solar Space Heating.
Heat collected by solar panels and stored. When the collector differential control senses that the temperature of the water glycol in the collector is 18 degrees F higher then the solar storage tank temperature collector pump turns on and moves coldest water from the bottom of the solar storage tank into the collector array where it absorbs radiant solar energy and delivers it to the middle of the storage tank. This action continues until the temperature differential between the collector and storage tank is reduced to 3 degrees F. when the collector pump turns off or the solar collector temperature exceeds manufactures recomendation. This system functions independently of all other controls collection radiant energy whenever it is available.
Operating Mode Two
2. Space Heating in Demand Solar Radiant Energy Available Thermal Energy Tank Temperature Below Level Required by Ambient Conditions, all Systems Operational.
Solar collector differential and collector pump function as in operation mode 1. Room thermostat turn on terminal pump and blower in air handler if used. Reset thermostat, sensing that terminal tank temperature is below level required by outdoor ambient turn on the DX direct expansion Geothermal Heat Pump and the heat pump operates in the water to water mode heating storage tank. Hot water circulated to the terminal heating equipment is returned to the warmer of the solar storage tank or terminal energy tank by use of a diverting valve. Action continues until room temperature rises to level required by outdoor ambient condition.
Operating Mode Three
3. Space Heating in Demand No Solar Radiant Energy Available Terminal Energy Tank Temperature Below Level Required by Ambient condition.
Solar Storage Tank Temperature above 53 degrees F. Energy with drawn form Solar Storage Tank. System functions as in operating mode 2 except that control differential control does not activate collector pump. Energy is drawn from solar storage tank by evaporator pump and is not being replenished causing drop in solar storage tank temperature.
Operating Mode Four
4. Space Heating in Demand No Solar Radiant Energy Available Terminal Energy Tank Temperature Below Level Required by Ambient condition Solar Storage Tank Temperature above 53 degrees F Energy with drawn form Solar Storage Tank DX Ground Source Heat Pump Supplies Required Energy.
System converts to DX direct expansion geothermal heat pump operation full time. When the solar storage tank fall below 53 degrees F system converts to geothermal heat pump mode and condenser gas heat air handler or radiant heat system delivering required heat to living space.
What is Does
The Sweetwater solar assisted (DX) geothermal heat pump system is a building heating cooling system which produces domestic hot water as a by product. It consumes 60 % to 75 % + less electrical power then conventional HVAC systems + domestic hot water, when the solar/geothermal loops are optimized to the specific building and location. The system can provide total heating cooling and hot water to a home , home business or commercial building or as a partial solution on a room by room basis. Geothermal heat pumps known ground source heat pumps are a niche segment in the overall HVAC market. DX (Direct Expansion) geothermal heat pumps are a smaller niche within that market but have great potential.
How it works
Our solar assisted hybrid geothermal system utilizes a (DX) direct expansions ground loop as it heat extraction point in the heating mode and a heat sink in the air-conditioning mode. The geothermal well are typically much shorter 75’ to 100’ feet vertical, then conventional High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipe commonly used in other geothermal heat pump installations which can exceed 300’ and are install in a narrow foot print six feet on outward angles, with much less ground disturbance.
The solar thermal hot water panel array is roof mounted and supplies not only hot water and some back up heating capability in the event of a total power outage but server to assist the heating load through this renewable energy resource thus improving total system COP and SEER efficiency. Such a system could incorporate a small solar PV capability to power and run the solar water pump on a back up basis. A larger system could also employ a 2,500 gallon thermal battery storage system which reduces the size of the ground loop and stores energy from the solar panels. The design combinations are virtually unlimited.
1. A (DX) geothermal heat pump has a ground loop which can be installed at dramatic savings over 40% over conventional geothermal heat pumps wells. As a result DX systems are more affordable to a wider customer base. The Heat Pump compressor units evaporator/condenser copper line sets are installed in the geothermal wells with thermal grout and is more energy efficient then common geothermal heat pumps because the ground loops refrigerant copper pipe is directly in contact with the earth. This creates a higher thermal conductibility than plastic pipe, transfers energy more efficiently and eliminates the two step heat exchange process.
2. The home-business/property owner will have installed a system which cutsthe systems (GWP) Global Warming Potential – (in half), as half the systems 410a refrigerant loop in buried in the ground.
3. The DX geothermal heat pump is installed indoors as apposed to an air to air heat pump or central air conditioner which are installed outdoors, typically at ground level. The heat pump could be installed on the second floor or in the attic away form the outdoor elements.
4. The technology is scalable. The currently available DX geothermal heat pumps to be used on this project range in size from 24,000 BTHU or 2- TONS to 60,000 BTUH or 5 -TONS. Using rule of thumb calculations we are looking at a space conditioning requirement of 2,000 sqft. to 5,000 sqft , depending on the buildings load requirements. As such units can be staged or zoned to achieve more capacity and larger heating and cooling loads, while maintaining a much smaller geothermal filed.
5. This is a hybrid system which utilizes an extreemly efficient geothermal heat pump system know (DX) and solar thermal to combine for a truly ultra efficient system. Such a system is used in conjunction with forced air systems or radiant heat.
6. Our solar geothermalheat pump system can be retrofited into your buildings current HVAC forced hot air system including maintaining a backup energy source such as a gas furnace.
Things We Do
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