The project that uses ice for heating and cooling awarded
26 June 2017 Share

The project that uses ice for heating and cooling awarded

Students from Yaşar University’s Department of Energy Systems Faruk Öner, Caner Eser and Oğuz Başoğlu developed a project to increase the energy efficiency in heating and cooling systems used for houses. In their project, the students designed “a heat pump that uses an ice store and that sources its energy from solar panels.” This design won the students the third place at Hack4Energy, an energy-themed event jointly organized by Technopark İzmir and İzmir Development Agency. Faruk Öner noted that they designed this system based on a two-storey building in Urla, İzmir; and added that the system of “heat pump with ice store” is more energy-efficient as it expends much less energy compared to other heating and cooling systems such as air conditioner, boiler, and other heat pumps.

To give details about the system, Faruk Öner said, “The heat pump is a machine that outsources its energy and releases the heat it takes from an environment with a lower temperature into another environment with a higher temperature. The heat pump can be used for cooling during summer, and for heating during winter. The efficiency levels of heat pumps are measured based on performance coefficients, also called COP. The higher the COP value is the higher the efficiency is. On average, the annual COP value of heat pumps is 3.5 while it is 5.5 in our heat pump. Because our ice store-source heat pump supplies its energy from solar panels. This is what makes our heat pump two times more energy-efficient.”

THE ICE STORE

Öner points out that we have been using these heat pump systems in refrigerators and air conditioners for years though the word heat pump itself has just started to be used in our daily lives. He also adds, “The idea of heating and cooling with ice may sound strange at first; however, it makes sense considering its energy-efficiency. In these ice store-source heat pumps, specially produced ice stores are placed underground. As the ground is a good insulator, the store maintains its temperature. The outdoor units of the air conditioners that we are using are placed into the store after necessary engineering designs are applied on the ice store-source heat pumps. The hot air from the devices inside the house is transferred to the ice store. This system allows the fluid to get much cooler compared to air-source or ground-source heat pumps. During summer, the ice in the ice store melts completely and warms up. During winter, the reverse of this mechanism takes action and transfers the cold air into the ice store. Compared to other heat pumps, this allows the fluid to expend less energy to heat the air inside as it passes through the ice store. The COP value of our ice store-source heat pump is higher than the COP values measured in the commonly used ground-source and air-source heat pumps. This results in a decreased amount of energy consumption.”

The students noted that the system, which they designed as an integral part of the solar panels on a two-storey building in Urla, İzmir, can also be used in places with a high number of stand-alone houses.