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Design And Construction Of A Lab Scale Ground Source Heat Pump

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Design Experiences in Energy Systems

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.446.1 - 12.446.17



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Paper Authors


Jorge Alvarado Texas A&M University

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Dr. Jorge Alvarado is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. He teaches courses in the areas of thermal sciences, fluid mechanics and fluid power. Dr. Alvarado’s research interests are in the areas of nanotechnology, micro-scale heat transfer, electronic cooling, phase change materials, solid and liquid desiccant regeneration, energy conservation and use of renewable energy in buildings.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design and Construction of a Lab-Scale Ground Source Heat Pump


Undergraduate engineering and engineering technology students are in need of rigorous and multi-faceted hands-on activities to enhance their self-confidence and technical skills. Very few courses give students the opportunity to approach practical design and production problems in a holistic manner. Senior design courses or capstone projects frequently give students the opportunity to design complex or multi-component systems in a timely effective manner. However, most capstone design projects are only concerned with the design itself and not with production, construction, or implementation of the design outcomes because of time restriction or lack of resources.

In this paper, a case study is presented which shows how two groups of students undertook the design and construction of a lab-scale ground source heat pump (GSHP). The first group was responsible for the design and component selection of the GSHP. As part of the design process, the students derived and specified an appropriate performance metric based on the first law of thermodynamics which was then used to guide the design optimization process. As a result, size, weight and cost of the system were determined and optimized computationally. A second group of students built a GSHP taking into account the established design attributes and a limited budget. After successful construction and installation of the lab-scale GSHP, undergraduate students in engineering technology are now able to experimentally measure its performance under various experimental conditions.

Introduction and Motivation

Senior design courses and capstone projects give senior-level students the opportunity to manage multi-faceted projects. However, very few projects involved the design and construction of multi-component systems such as advanced thermal systems. The design and construction of advanced thermal systems involves the application of basic thermodynamic principles. The first and second laws of thermodynamics as well as other physical principles including continuity and energy equations for fluids need to be considered in the design process. Design of complex system compels engineering and engineering technology students to set up the design problem in a simple but effective mathematical form so the right design solution set or outcomes can be obtained with ease. Other motivating factors that each engineering and engineering technology student taking capstone courses should strive for are as follows:

Ability to design multiple-component systems taking into account the interconnections among all the subsystems Ability to take is into account dynamic or transient behavior of complex system Ability to design and build systems within a limited budget Ability to integrate and use multiple engineering and science disciplines in an expeditious and easy manner Ability to learn about the latest trends in thermal management or pertinent field of study

Alvarado, J. (2007, June), Design And Construction Of A Lab Scale Ground Source Heat Pump Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2663

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