Thermal Impact Of Residential Ground‐Water Heat Pumps


A computer simulation study was conducted to quantify the potential thermal impact of residential water‐source heat pump usage on ground‐water aquifers. In a first phase of the study, weather data for nine locations throughout the country were used to estimate the energy requirements for heating and air conditioning a typical residence. These energy requirements were then translated into the volumetric water demands for a selected heat pump at each location. A representative model aquifer was then defined and its characteristics used, along with the heat pump water requirements and design ΔT's (difference between inlet and outlet water temperature) to identify the important parameters that contribute to heat transfer and to model the movement of the thermal front resulting from injection of heat pump discharge water at the nine locations. The major factor that determines the heat pump thermal impact was found to be the net amount of heat injected into, or removed from an aquifer. Other significant factors included well design, heat pump design ΔT, and physical properties of the aquifer such as thickness, porosity and dispersivity. The study showed that, in climates where winter heating demand is very nearly equal to summer cooling demands, the injection of heat pump discharge water did not cause any significant modification of the ambient model aquifer temperature. However, in hot or cold climates where air conditioning or heating demand dominates, measurable thermal changes occurred in the model aquifer. In most cases, the maximum temperature Copyright © 1984, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1745-6584; 0017-467X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Wiley, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1984