Experimental evaluation of a heating radiant wall coupled to a ground source heat pump

Highlights

Test of an experimental set-up of a radiant wall coupled to a ground source heat pump.

The system increases the performance of the heat pump and reduces the energy use.

The peak load shifting potential of the radiant was demonstrated.

Management of the thermal lag is crucial to optimize the control of the system.

Abstract

A radiant wall heating system embedded in a heavy brickwork envelope and coupled to a ground source heat pump supplied has been experimentally tested under real outdoor conditions. This system was applied to a room sized cubicle built in Puigverd de Lleida (Spain) test-site, where it was studied in system vs. system analysis in comparison to a reference cubicle built with commercial available technologies (insulated alveolar brick wall and air-to-air heat pump). The results showed the potential of the radiant wall, which in continuous operation reached energy savings between 19.97% and 40.72% based on set-point temperature. Most important, the active thermal mass of radiant wall allowed operating in off peak periods. Otherwise, this peak load shifting ability was completely inexistent in the reference cubicle. However, the results show that the radiant cubicle was unsuited to operate in occupancy schedules due to its slow response time. Furthermore, the tests show that optimization of the radiant wall system requires a control strategy that takes in account the dynamics of the system.

Keywords

  • Thermally activated building systems (TABS);
  • Radiant walls;
  • Radiant heating;
  • Ground source heat pump (GSHP)

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