Optimal Ground-Source Heat Pump System Design Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Optimal Ground-Source Heat Pump System Design
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act – Geothermal Technologies Program: Ground Source Heat Pumps
Project Type / Topic 2 Topic Area 2: Data Gathering and Analysis
Project Description OptGSHP is based on a unique combination of simulation and optimization methodologies and is general in that it can be applied to a variety of loop design and sizes, climate zones, and ground conditions. The simulation-component of OptGSHP is suitable to model system performance whereas the optimization-component is suitable to determine project feasibility and identify the optimal system configuration with the least lifecycle system cost (capital and operational). OptGSHP will be applied to the least-life-cycle-cost analysis of several GSHP systems and the results will be published in a research paper.

OptGSHP combines GSHP-specific interfaces of an existing HVAC software design tool with a groundwater flow and heat transport modeling software allowing the modeling of vertical and pond/lake loops in different climate zones and building types in the presence of groundwater flow, which most of GSHP designs do not get credit for and therefore are overdesigned. In addition, it integrates a set of optimization software developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University Vermont which makes it particularly powerful for least-life-cyclecost analysis.

State New Jersey
Objectives Create a new decision-making tool (‘OptGSHP’) that will enable ground-source heat pump (GSHP) developers to analyze system cost and performance in a variety of building applications (i.e., residential, commercial, government, school and universities) to aid in design as well as purchase decisions.
Awardees (Company / Institution) ENVIRON International Corporation
Awardee Website http://www.environcorp.com/

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000116
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $109,999.00
Awardee Cost Share $27,499.00
Total Project Cost $137,498.00

Principal Investigator(s) George F. Pinder, ENVIRON International Corporation

Targets / Milestones - Calibrate the modeling software and demonstrate the flexibility and capacity of OptGSHP.

- Determine how much cost-savings would have been achieved in 2001 if the analysis tools were available
- Determine the optimal ways to operate the existing system
- Demonstrate the importance of integrating groundwater flow and heat transport into the design of GSHP systems
- Demonstrate the significance of a systems approach to the design of GSHP systems which is the only way of addressing the interdependency of all design and operational variables towards a leastlife- cycle-cost design of such systems.

Location of Project Princeton, NJ

Impacts Improves GHP loop design and sizing, potential to improve GHP reliability and performance with lower cost.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs