CO2 emissions and energy performance analysis of ground-source and solar-assisted ground-source heat pumps using low-GWP refrigerants

Minwoo Lee, Jinyoung Kim, Hyun Ho Shin, Wonhee Cho, Yongchan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The energy consumption and CO2 emissions of heat pump systems can be reduced effectively by adopting an appropriate alternative refrigerant. However, investigation on alternative refrigerants for ground-source heat pump (GSHP) and solar-assisted ground-source heat pump (SGSHP) systems is limited although these systems still use conventional refrigerants. In this study, the life cycle climate performance (LCCP) and primary energy consumption (PEC) for GSHP and SGSHP systems using conventional and alternative refrigerants are compared to those for conventional boiler systems. Experiments are conducted to investigate the heating performance of selected refrigerants. For regions with low CO2 emission conversion factor for electricity (μCO2.elec), GSHP systems using R1234yf are the most suitable considering the LCCP, owing to its low GWP and high performance. However, SGSHP systems using R134a with a large system size are preferred in regions with high μCO2.elec, because system efficiency takes the priority in reducing the LCCP. For PEC, SGSHP systems using R134a are recommended owing to its high efficiency. However, in regions where oil or natural gas is used dominantly, either the system size of SGSHPs should be increased or the primary energy conversion factor of electricity should be reduced to guarantee the benefits of PEC reduction of SGSHP systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125198
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 15


  • Boiler system
  • Ground-source heat pump
  • Life cycle climate performance
  • Primary energy consumption
  • Solar-assisted ground-source heat pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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