Technical and Economic Assessment of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (GSHPs) in Ontario
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Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (GSHPs) are one of the most promising clean and low-carbon source of geothermal renewable energy technologies for heating, ventilation and cooling of homes. Geothermal heat pump (GHP) technologies, referred to as GeoExchange, comprise ground-source and/or water-source heat pumps that use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This study is a technical and economic assessment of use of GSHPs to support the policy options for increasing the share of geothermal energy sources within the residential sector of Ontario. The study identifies the technical and economic barriers to the wide-spread adoption of ground source heat pumps in Ontario and is an assessment of the impacts of large-scale deployment of GSHPs on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this study, I have established the basis for evaluating the cost and environmental benefits of GSHPs in Ontario. The results provide a sound economic and technical foundation for supporting investment decisions in favour of implementing GSHPs as a viable alternative to traditional heating, ventilation, air-conditioning systems (HVACs), specifically, natural gas use for space heating and hot water usage in buildings. The study reveals that geothermal ground source heat pumps have a great potential to reduce GHG emissions for Ontario’s residential sector by a magnitude of 21.7 megatonnes (Mt) that will in turn reduce the overall emissions of Ontario by 13%. GSHPs are a cost-effective solution for implementation on a wide-scale. The economic analysis clearly indicates the horizontal ground source heat pump system (H.GSHPs) is a strong winner in multiple sensitivity analysis when considering different lifespans, discount factors, and base case scenario against comparative scenarios. The rankings of the twenty-seven (27) cities selected for this study identify that the GSHPs are more attractive compared to traditional HVACs from an investment point of view in cities of the southern and distinct region as compared to the northern regions because of low present value (PV) of costs. The PV compares the cash outflows based on the initial investment, operating costs, maintenance costs, and disposal costs in a project lifespan of 60 years that span life cycles of 20 – 30 years for GSHPs and 12 years for traditional HVAC applications. This study has conducted a comprehensive technical and economic assessment for twenty-seven (27) cities in Ontario to address the geographic variation of benefits. While there is a variation across regions of Ontario – and this is based on weather, soil condition and level of energy use – the overall conclusion is a compelling case for GSHPs as a viable alternative to the use of natural gas.
Cite this work
Armughan Al-Haq (2017). Technical and Economic Assessment of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (GSHPs) in Ontario. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12235