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The Performance of the Energy Machine: A Comparative Study of the Energy Machine and a Conventional Heat Pump System

The Achilles heel of the heat pump technology has for long been the low efficiency occurring during domestic hot water production. The problem is the high condensation pressure needed to reach high temperatures.

To produce domestic hot water, the system need to deliver a supply temperature of about 60 °C, to be compared with a supply temperature of around 30-50 °C when heat is delivered to a radiator circuit. This drawback has for long held the heat pump technology back and instead gave room for alternative technologies on the market, like district heating.

The Energy Machine is a heat pump system developed to bypass the poor efficiency during domestic hot water heating. The technology is based on the use of two heat pumps working together. The main heat pump delivers heat to the heating system, as usual, whilst the second smaller heat pump heats the domestic hot water.As the second heat pump is fed with reject heat from a subcooler in the main heat pump, it can operate at high efficiency, even when producing domestic hot water.

The aim of this master thesis has been to investigate how the performance of the Energy Machine differs from that of a conventional heat pump system. In order to do so, models describing the two systems have been designed using MATLAB, Simulink. Simulations have then been performed to investigate how the two systems perform on an annual basis.

The results of the simulations show that the Energy Machine performs much better than the conventional systems at most operating conditions, especially during domestic hot water heating. The annual COP- factor of the Energy Machine has proven to be 33,5 % higher than that of a conventional heat pump system.
Source: Uppsala University
Author: Hemgren, Viktor

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