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Performance of a direct-expansion solar-assisted heat pump for domestic hot water production in Algeria

1Laboratory of Control, Tests, Measures and Mechanical Simulations, Faculty of Technology, Hassiba Benbouali University of Chlef, Hay Salem, National Road N 19 -02000, Chlef, Algeria

2University Centre of Tipaza, Road of Oued Merzoug, 42000, Tipaza, Algeria

Received: 11 Feb 2024; Revised: 7 Apr 2024; Accepted: 17 Apr 2024; Available online: 28 Apr 2024; Published: 1 Jul 2024.
Editor(s): Soulayman Soulayman
Open Access Copyright (c) 2024 The Author(s). Published by Centre of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE)
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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The focus of this study is to investigate the energy performance of a direct-expansion solar-assisted heat pump water heating system (DX-SAHPWH). The system consists of an unglazed solar collector-evaporator, which can absorb heat from solar energy and air ambient simultaneously, a condenser in the form of a coil immersed in a hot water storage tank, a thermostatic expansion valve and a hermetic reciprocating compressor. The performance of the heat pump system is evaluated using a developed mathematical model under Matlab code. The modelling method is based on lumped and distributed parameter approach of different system components. Numerical calculations were carried-out to study the influence of different parameters, such as ambient temperature, solar radiation intensity and polytropic index on the system performance. Additionally, in order to evaluate the long-term system performance, the system’s model was applied on a case study of a single-family building located in Djelfa (Algeria), which represents the coldest arid region of the country. The results showed that the solar radiation intensity and ambient temperature have significant effects on the heat pump performance. A COP of 5.9 and a collector-evaporator efficiency of 1.9 were obtained at high solar radiation of 850 W/m2 resulting in lower heating time (29 min). In addition, results revealed that the system can operate even at lower ambient temperature due to its ability to take advantage of heat from the ambient air. The results from the case study gave a COP ranging from 2.3 to 3.8, which enhance the promising adoption of this system in domestic hot water production to respond to people daily life needs with clean, abundant and renewable energy.

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Keywords: Solar thermal energy; direct-expansion solar-assisted heat pump; hot water production; mathematical modelling; coefficient of performance

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