Feasibility Assessment of Using Water Storage Sources to Improve the Efficiency of Air-Conditioning Systems

Osgood, Michael (2020) Feasibility Assessment of Using Water Storage Sources to Improve the Efficiency of Air-Conditioning Systems. [USQ Project]

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Abstract

The efficiency of air conditioning systems has improved but is fundamentally limited by the ambient conditions of the air outside the building (to which heat is dumped for cooling, or from which heat is extracted for heating). This research project investigated the feasibility of improving the efficiency of a reverse cycle air conditioning unit by using water from a solar hot water system and a residential pool as an additional source/sink of low-grade heat.

Reverse cycle air conditioning use for cooling and heating is becoming ever more prevalent worldwide. This is driven by the growing population and need for comfortable environments in households and workplaces to ensure employees are performing at high standards. This project extends on existing knowledge in using water as a heat sink/source in air-conditioning systems and assesses the feasibility of using such a design.

Baseline data was collected on a household reverse cycle ducted air conditioner (a/c), solar hot water system and residential pool by recording refrigerant temperatures, heat sink/source temperatures and power consumption over all seasons. This was used to ascertain a reasonable energy consumption without modifications throughout the year. Calculations were then made in MATLAB to extrapolate the energy consumption with the heat sink/source utilised on the system. Validation of the calculations made on the household system was performed by collecting the same data on a reverse cycle box a/c and performing similar MATLAB calculations with and without a water heat sink/source modification. The validation of the household a/c system’s MATLAB calculations was consistent with the results of the box a/c system and the design was feasible using two different flow rate water pumps for heating and cooling respectively.

Results were a 2.74% reduction in power use for the household a/c system with a flowing water loop from a heat sink (residential pool) in heating mode and a 16.11% reduction in power use for the household a/c system with a flowing water loop from a heat source (solar hot water system) in cooling mode. These results used the highest performing water pump with a mass flow rate of 1.33kg/s, however, a 0.83kg/s water pump was feasible in cooling mode with a breakeven time of 1.5 years and a 0.42kg/s water pump was feasible in heating mode with a breakeven time of 4.1 years.


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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Mechanical)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 -)
Supervisors: Wandel, Andrew
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 02:18
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2021 02:18
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43041

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