Refrigerant amount detection algorithm for a ground source heat pump unit

Hangseok Choi, Honghyun Cho, Jong Min Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


To make an energy efficient GSHP system, the heat pump unit should have high efficiency and be optimized well with other parts such as ground heat exchangers and pumps. The amount of refrigerant charge in the heat pump unit is one of the primary parameters influencing system performance. In the present study, the effects of off-design charge on the performance of a ground source heat pump unit are investigated by varying refrigerant charge amount, and the algorithm to predict refrigerant charge amount in the heat pump unit was developed. Undercharge or overcharge of refrigerant into the ground source heat pump unit degraded performance and deteriorated system reliability. Refrigerant flow control by an EEV compensated for refrigerant undercharge or overcharge fault. However, refrigerant charge amount should be detected to optimize the heat pump unit performance. In the first step to develop the algorithm of refrigerant amount detection, the subcooling and superheat at the adjusted EEV conditions are determined as recommended parameters, because they are not sensitive to the EWT of the OD HX. Finally, the subcooling is selected as a fault detection and diagnosis parameter about the refrigerant charge amount in the second screening analysis, because it is properly sensitive to charge amount. The algorithm to predict the refrigerant amount detection in the ground source heat pump unit was developed based on the test data and analysis. The refrigerant amount detection algorithm gave relatively good predictions within a relative deviation of 8.0%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the New & Renewable Energy of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea Government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No. 2008-N-GE08-P-01 ).


  • Ground source heat pump unit
  • Ground-loop heat exchanger
  • Refrigerant amount detection
  • Refrigerant charge
  • Subcooling
  • Superheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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