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CYPECAD MEP. Air conditioning
Geothermal energy harvesting systems

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The module: Geothermal energy harvesting systems, integrated in the Air Conditioning tab of CYPECAD MEP, has been conceived to design geothermal energy harvesting systems.

Geothermal heat pump systems are geothermal systems with low enthalpy which use a heat pump and an energy harvesting system in the ground to utilise the temperature of the ground.

The Geothermal energy harvesting systems module of CYPECAD MEP allows users to design the geothermal heat exchanger that is required for the installation to operate correctly, based on the selection of a geothermal heat pump and the definition of the energy requirements it must cover.

Operation

Geothermal heat pump systems are geothermal systems with low enthalpy which use a heat pump and an energy harvesting system in the ground to utilise the temperature of the ground. The key aspect of the efficiency of this type of system lies in the utilisation of the energy that is accumulated in the ground in a constant and stable manner, in such a way that the electrical energy consumed by the system is less than that which is consumed by a conventional heat pump system.

The Geothermal energy harvesting systems module of CYPECAD MEP allows users to design the geothermal heat exchanger that is required for the installation to operate correctly, based on the selection of a geothermal heat pump (Air Conditioning tab > Installation > Centralised air conditioning units > Select one of the geothermal heat pumps) and the definition of the energy requirements it must cover (results of which can be obtained using the Export to energy plusTM and Calculation of summer and winter thermal loads modules).

The design of the geothermal heat exchanger is based on the proposed design procedure contained in the manual of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) “Ground-Source Heat Pumps: Design of Geothermal Systems for Commercial and Institutional Buildings”.

The program designs:

  • The interior circuit and a geothermal heat pump

    The interior circuit is designed based on the equipment that is provided, which has been designed or checked based on the thermal analysis of the precincts. The geothermal heat pump introduced by the user must be able to provide the quantity of flow and power the interior circuit requires.
  • The buried heat exchanger with a geothermal heat pump

    The program designs the buried geothermal heat exchanger so the geothermal heat pump, provided by users, operates correctly, by bearing in mind the thermal load and the monthly thermal demand introduced by users (data that can be obtained using the Export to energy plusTM and Calculation of summer and winter thermal loads modules).
  • All the elements of the system

    Interior circuit, geothermal heat pump and buried heat exchanger.

Data introduction

Ground parameters

For the correct design of this type of installation, new ground parameters have been implemented:

  • Undisturbed soil temperature
    (Job > General data)
    As with the other “Climatic conditions” of the “General data” dialogue box, users can choose between two options to define the undisturbed temperature of the soil:
    • Predefined
      The program assigns the temperature depending on the location selected by the user (Job > Location).
    • User value
      Users provide their chosen value.
  • Thermal conductivity and Volumetric heat capacity
    (Job > General data > Edit Location data)
    To define these parameters, users also have two options available:
    • Soil type selection
      Users select a type of soil to which the program assigns the corresponding Thermal conductivity and Volumetric heat capacity. The program provides the usual values these parameters have associated with each type of soil.
    • Thermal response test
      If a thermal response test has been carried out, users can freely introduce the values for the Thermal conductivity and Volumetric heat capacity by selecting the “Thermal response test” option.

Design options for the geothermal energy harvesting system

The program has a series of default design options for the distribution of the heat-carrying fluid in the geothermal energy harvesting system, which users can modify (Job > Options > Distribution for the geothermal energy capture system):

  • Maximum velocity in pipes
  • Maximum pressure loss per unit length in pipes
  • Minor losses in pipes

 

 

 

Geothermal Heat pumps

Users can select amongst the following types of geothermal heat pumps:

  • Water-to-water cooling unit, geothermal, for interior installation
  • Water-to-water non reversible heat pump unit, geothermal, for interior installation
  • Water-to-water reversible heat pump unit, geothermal, for interior installation

 

Users select the geothermal heat pump that is adequate for the operation of the interior installation regardless of whether the installation has been designed or not in the program (if the interior installation has been designed, the program will warn users if the pump is not adequate).

Users must provide the following data for the selected heat pump: thermal charge and monthly thermal demand (for heating and/or cooling, depending on the selected pump), and the monthly thermal demand of sanitary hot water (if the selected heat pump is to also cover the production of sanitary hot water).

Elements of the geothermal energy harvesting installation

The different elements making up the geothermal energy harvesting installation are available in the Geothermal energy capture system option (Installation menu in the Air Conditioning tab). These elements are:

  • Manifold in technical room
  • Manifold in buried inspection chamber
  • Vertical geothermal loop
  • Distribution pipes, horizontal
  • Distribution pipes, vertical

 

User license requirements

To be able to design an air conditioning and/or heating installation, the user license must allow for the use of the Calculation of heating thermal loads and Calculation of summer thermal loads modules (depending on whether the installation is being designed for cooling, heating or both cases). Additionally, and depending on the equipment and systems included in the installation, other modules are required.

For an installation that includes a geothermal energy harvesting system, in which only the buried heat exchanger with geothermal heat pump is going to be designed, the user license must also include access to the Geothermal energy harvesting systems module.

If, for this is installation, the interior circuit is also to be designed, the user license must also contain the permits for the other modules that are required for the installation that has been introduced (Fan coil selection, Radiant and cooling floors, Air conditioning ducts, Water pipes for HVAC...).

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