Investigation of gas engine driven heat pump systems

  • Clive Hickman

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular, but poor electricity generating efficiency limits the potential energy savings of electrically powered units. Thus the work reported in this thesis concerns the development of a range of gas engine driven heat pumps for industrial and commercial heating applications, which recover heat from the prime mover, normally rejected to waste.
    Despite the convenience of using proprietary engine heat recovery packages, investigations have highlighted the necessity to ensure the engine and the heat recovery equipment are compatible.
    A problem common •to all air source heat pumps is the formation of frost on the evaporator, which must be removed periodically, with the expenditure of energy, to ensure the continued operation of the plant. An original fluidised bed defrosting mechanism is proposed, which prevents the build-up of this frost, and also improves system performance.
    Criticisms have been levelled against the rotary sliding vane compressor, in particular the effects of lubrication, which is essential. This thesis compares the rotary sliding vane compressor with other machines, and concludes that many of these criticisms are unfounded.
    A confidential market survey indicates an increasing demand for heat pumps up to and including 1990, and the technical support needed to penetrate this market is presented. Such support includes the development of a range of modular gas engine driven heat pumps, and a computer aided design for the selection of the optimum units.
    A case study of a gas engine driven heat pump for a swimming pool application which provided valuable experience is included.
    Date of Award1984
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorW.E.J. Neal (Supervisor) & D.C. Hickson (Supervisor)


    • gas engine
    • driven
    • heat pump
    • fluidised beds
    • evaporator frosting
    • refrigerant compressors

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