In severely cold climate, significant amount of energy is used to heat buildings. Both the theoretical computation and experiments show that it is difficult and uneconomical to use solar energy collected merely in winter. A new method has been developed to store solar energy during summer, fall, and spring for winter heating. This paper presents in details the combined heating and cooling system by solar ground-source heat pump (GSHP) and short-term phase change material (PCM) thermal storage. The hybrid system and season-shift mode can make the sustainable use of solar energy possible. As for the above system, the solar energy collected is stored into soil through the U-tube heat exchanger. In winter, the thermal energy is taken out for heating using the GSHP. At the end of the heat supply season, the underground soil temperature may drop below 0°C. Then some heat exchangers begin to store the heat into soil while others stop. In summer, the U-tube heat exchanger is used to produce low temperature water without compressor to cool the room. The project was supported by the Energy Conservation Laboratory at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). The whole systems, which have run for over two years, consist of a flat plate solar hot water system installed on the roof, a soil thermal storage system, a GSHP system, a PCM thermal storage system and heating-cooling system. The measured results show an average heating coefficient of performance (COP) of 3.2 in winter and the cooling coefficient of performance (COP) of 18.0 in summer. The PCM thermal storage system has been investigated by numerical simulation and experiments in the cold climate. In most time of winter, the PCM thermal storage system was used to supply heat, while solar GSHP was also used during continuous cloudy days and severely cold days. The result shows that above method is feasible. The most advantage of this system is that it does not need the usual energy equipment. The numerical analysis has been used to investigate the thermal energy balance of the underground soil. The variation of the soil temperature field around the U-tube heat exchanger has also been studied, not only for the single exchanger but also for multiple exchangers. The underground soil makes the yearly thermal balance possible because the solar energy supplies the heat that is extracted from the soil for heating in winter. Then this system can operate for a long period.

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