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UPV researchers improve the efficiency of air conditioning systems using a geothermal heat pump


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UPV researchers improve the efficiency of air conditioning systems using a geothermal heat pump


Researchers from the ITACA institute of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have achieved important progress in the field of air conditioning by developing a new buried heat exchanger design that improves the efficiency of air conditioning systems using a geothermal heat pump. His work has been published in the magazine 'Renewable Energy'.

Geothermal heat pump air conditioning systems take advantage of the heat stored in the earth to heat and cool buildings efficiently. To do this, they use a set of buried pipes that take advantage of the almost constant temperature of the ground to transfer heat to the interior of buildings in winter and eliminate excess heat in summer.

In addition to being environmentally friendly by reducing carbon emissions, these geothermal systems offer significant savings in long-term energy costs and provide constant and uniform thermal comfort inside buildings, the UPV has indicated in a statement.

In this sense, Javier F. Urchueguía, from the Information Technology Research Group against Climate Change (ICTvsCC) of the ITACA Institute of the UPV and author of the work, together with Borja Badenes, Miguel A. Mateo Pla, Bruno Armengot and Hossein Javadi has stressed that this technology "is today an efficient and sustainable alternative to conventional air conditioning systems."

The Trilobular design developed by the UPV researchers includes a central ascending flow tube and three satellite descending tubes built with high thermal conductivity materials, which have been developed within the framework of the European GEOCOND project.

In this specific case, the main advantage lies in its superior thermal efficiency compared to traditional systems. This significant advance not only considerably reduces the installation costs of a geothermal system, but also facilitates its design and installation, opening new opportunities in the field of geothermal air conditioning.

"Our work offers a more sustainable and efficient alternative in the design of heating and cooling systems," adds Borja Badenes. Furthermore, the proposal of the UPV researchers also stands out for the use of innovative materials for these air conditioning systems: the central pipe is designed with a highly insulating thermally composite material, while the satellite pipes use a highly conductive plastic material.

"This combination of materials ensures efficient heat transfer with the ground, which allows greater thermal performance," highlights Miguel A. Mateo Pla.

To evaluate the performance of this design, thermal tests (TRT) were carried out at the Geothermal Laboratory of the Universitat Politècnica de València, whose experimental results showed that the new system "has a significantly lower temperature than conventional borehole heat exchangers , which allows greater efficiency in heat injection," said Bruno Armengot.

"These findings have important implications for the geothermal energy industry, and offer a promising energy alternative for the future of heating and cooling buildings, thus contributing to the fight against climate change and the promotion of renewable energy," he concluded. Hossein Javadi.