Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a free web-based application that calculates the savings and energy efficiency of residential ground source heat pumps compared to gas heating.
The tool is designed to allow building owners, heat pump system designers, and installers to evaluate the efficiency and cost savings of ground systems in various buildings in all climate zones throughout the United States.
“You can change building features, land real estate, and user fees, and the annual return on investment is updated in real time based on that information,” said ORNL researcher Xiaobing Liu. “This is the only tool available that can automatically simulate and predict the performance of (ground source heat pump) applications.”
Users are free to use the tool after registering on the platform. It is possible to make a simulation for finished buildings or real-time simulations in addition to modifying the prices of electricity, water and natural gas.
According to the simulation of the doll pv magazine In a mid-rise apartment in upstate New York, replacing a gas furnace with a geothermal heat pump would cost $87,238 and result in annual savings of $11,837 over a seven-year payback period.