A comparison between geothermal absorption and compression heat pumps for space conditioning

M. Kummert, M. Bernier, J. Costa, J. Paris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article compares the performance of geothermal absorption and compression heat pump systems for space conditioning. The comparison is performed on an R-2000 residence for three Canadian locations representing three different climates and energy contexts: Montréal, Edmonton and Vancouver. The analysis is based on simulations carried out using TRNSYS. Results indicate that the required length of the geothermal heat exchanger is significantly different for the two types of heat pumps (compression and absorption). In Edmonton, geothermal absorption heat pump systems have a lower life-cycle cost and emit fewer greenhouse gases than geothermal compression heat pump system. In Montréal, both systems have similar life-cycle costs. Since electricity is mainly hydro-based the greenhouse gas emissions are much lower for the compression system. In Vancouver, the compression system has both lower life-cycle costs and lower greenhouse gases emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-487
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Heat pump
  • Compression
  • Space conditioning
  • Absorption
  • Ground heat exchanger
  • Dynamic simulation
  • Energy consumption


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