Thermal Heat Pumps

Research is conducted in collaboration with LTE/Hydro-Québec and Université de Sherbrooke.

Small absorption cooling systems (3 tonne capacity) using steam or hot water as a heat source exist in Europe and Asia. However, the prices of these systems are still too high (almost 7 times as much as those using vapour compression) to be competitive. Several groups are researching the thermodynamics of the systems, use of new fluids, optimization of mass and heat transfer, as well as hybrid cycles. All of this research aims to improve performance with low temperature heating and reduce the cost and size of these systems.

The research activities aim to:

  • Conduct a comparative study of two systems, absorption heat pumps and ejector coolers, to better understand the benefits of different thermal heat pump systems. The comparison will help determine which system is best suited to use the excess summer heat from a cogeneration unit to provide air conditioning.
  • Analyze an initial application in a residential domain. This will consist of a 6 kWe cogeneration system with an internal combustion engine. Simulation models will be developed and behaviour monitoring of the system will be conducted to determine its performance.