Investigation on the application of heat pump systems in residential buildings in the UK

  • Yaqin Zhang

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Heat pump systems are receiving increasing interest in the recent decades as an alternative energy source for space heating & cooling in both residential and commercial buildings. Due to its potential to reduce energy consumption and thus reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, this technology has been well established in many countries in the world. It is still at a development stage in the United Kingdom (UK), but the UK market is growing rapidly with an ever increasing number of installations each year. It is also considered that the heat pump technology can make important contributions to the UK’s CO2 target, which is cutting CO2 emissions by 34% of 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

    This thesis mainly discusses the application of heat pump systems in residential buildings. It introduces how the system works, heat pump systems’ types, the current and potential deployment of the system and its cost, design and installation. Although heat pump systems are being increasingly installed around the world, there are only a few current studies on their actual performance. Therefore, this study analyzes the effectiveness of heat pump systems by providing reasonable comfort at an affordable cost in comparison to conventional heating systems through a field study. It indicates that the GSHP system provides the highest comfortable level of heat, with relatively low energy consumption (cost affordability) and CO2 emission. The only negative aspect is the higher installation cost when compared to conventional heating systems. 
    To find whether the GSHP users are satisfied with the system performance and how their operations would impact the system efficiency, a survey was carried out among 162 GSHP users. It is found that GSHP can meet the heating and DHW demand of residential buildings with a relatively low cost. But a sizable amount of users experienced various problems with GSHP, including intrusive noise, slow warm up and so on. Customer service after the installation of GSHP needs to be improved to make GSHP widely accept, especially for technical support and maintenance issues.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorShuli Liu (Supervisor)


    • renewable energy
    • heat pump system
    • GSHP
    • domestic heating

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