Energy Performance and Economic Evaluations of the Geothermal Heat Pump System used in the KnowledgeWorks I and II Buildings, Blacksburg, Virginia

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Virginia Tech

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC) are not only one of the most energy consuming components in buildings but also contribute to green house gas emissions. As a result often environmental design strategies are focused on the performance of these systems. New HVAC technologies such as Geothermal Heat Pump systems have relatively high performance efficiencies when compared to typical systems and therefore could be part of whole-building performance design strategies.

In collaboration with the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Inc., this research studies the energy consumption and cost benefits of the Geothermal Heat Pump System that has been integrated and operated in the KnowledgeWorks I and II buildings located on the Virginia Tech campus.

The purpose of this thesis is to understand the energy and cost benefits of the Geothermal Heat Pumps System when compared to the conventional package variable air volume (VAV) with hot water coil heating and air-source heat pump systems using computer simulation and statistical models. The quantitative methods of building energy performance and life-cycle cost analyses are applied to evaluate the results of simulation models, the in-situ monitoring data, and the associated documents. This understanding can be expanded to the higher level of architectural systems integration.

Geo-Exchange, Surface Water Source Heat Pump, Ground Source Heat Pump, Geothermal Heat Pump