New breakthroughs in gas heat pump control technology

Gas Engine-driven Heat Pump (GHP) is an advanced heat pump system driven by natural gas engine, a single system can provide a variety of energy needs such as cooling, heating and domestic hot water, to achieve efficient use of energy, is in line with the “dual carbon” background of advanced low-carbon energy-saving technology, of which GHP control system is its core component. Feng Ziping’s team has been committed to the in-depth research of gas heat pump technology and system for a long time, and recently proposed a GHP embedded control system for monitoring gas heat pump hot and cold water units. The research results, titled Control system and operational characteristics of gas engine-driven heat pump, were published in the International Journal of Refrigeration, an international academic journal in the field of refrigeration.

The main functional module of GHP host controller

GHP host controller board

This paper introduces the control system architecture and functional modules in detail, and explains how the GHP controller communicates reliably with the engine ECU in real time to realize engine speed, start-stop and other control. Due to the continuous changes of the external environment and heat load, the GHP system has the characteristics of hysteresis, nonlinearity and time variation, and it is necessary to adjust the engine gear in real time, and realize the rapid approximation of the effluent temperature of the GHP system and stabilize at the target value through fine control. The article also discusses the operating characteristics of GHP systems based on this control system through cooling and heating experiments. The results show that the stability and accuracy of the effluent temperature of the GHP hot and cold water unit can be guaranteed by the double closed-loop control of the engine speed and the overheating of the evaporator through the main controller. In heating mode, as the engine speed gradually increases from 1200 rpm to 2400 rpm, the heating capacity of the heat pump increases from 42.37 kW to 75.2 kW, while the heating capacity of the GHP system increases from 56.18 kW to 105.87 kW. The engine’s waste heat recovery significantly increases the system’s heating capacity and primary energy utilization. The study of GHP’s control system and operating characteristics can help to significantly improve the performance of GHP systems. (Source: Guangzhou Institute of Energy Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

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