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Old 07-02-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
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Heat Pump Inquiry


Did some quick google searching and didn't find much in terms of an answer to this question...alot of articles, but nothing about my question, so here it is:

What is the maximum water temperature a typical water/air heat pump can handle?

My thought I want to investigate is to use solar hot water during the winter to supplement the ground source water and improve the COP of the unit. Is this pheasible? The solar hot water could be 120F or 140F and in extreme cases (if the pump was right) could, by code, be 180F. I don't want to "inject" the wells with the solar water as the btu losses would be too much.

Anyone have link to this info? Anyone have experience?

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Old 07-02-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Heat Pump Inquiry


Just off the top of my head, I eon't think a solar system could supply enough hot water to matter. I don't work on too many geo's but seem to remember the water supply being 3 gal per minute at whatever your ground water temp....

Which might raise the supply temp by..... m1U(ground) + m2U(solar) = (m1+m2)U(total)

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Old 07-02-2013, 01:22 PM   #3
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Heat Pump Inquiry


Do the research and math on how many Btu's/hr the solar panels you're looking at can supply at any given entering water temperature. The cooler the water going in the more efficient the solar panels are. Any added btu's you put into the supply water to the HP will show as an increase in output which would easily be figured out by looking at the equipment's specs and seeing what the output rating is related to inlet water temperature (and GPM's).

Might prove to be a better idea, if solar is the plan, to use the solar panels to supplement the HP in it's effort to heat the home in another fashion. For every Btu that the solar panels put into the house that amount of work won't have to be done by the HP.

I suspect what you're looking to do is gain the advantage of "multiplying" the solar energy by running it through the HP. Thing is it takes energy to multiply it and money to set it all up. The best design is one where the principal of Keep. It. Simple. drives the outcome and potential for trouble free and cost effective operation.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:46 PM   #4
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Heat Pump Inquiry


Most max out at 90F for heating.

You could use a mixing/tempering valve.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_squid View Post
Might prove to be a better idea, if solar is the plan, to use the solar panels to supplement the HP in it's effort to heat the home in another fashion.
Thanks everyone for the input. From all my "tenticles" of questions, both here and elsewhere, I feel this is the best application of solar. Strictly supplemental heat source, not a "main" source.

My conclusion: Solar hot water collector direct to a storage tank. Motorized 3-way valve on the geo supply to direct the incoming geo field water through a coil in the SHW tank to bump the incoming temperature in times of available solar heat and a heating demand. Second SHW tank coil for domestic hot water pre-heat. If there is no solar, then the 3-way resorts back to traditional geo-field loop and domestic water enters the hot water heater at street temp. I think that's about as simple as one can get while utilizing solar heating.
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