The economic viability of ground coupled heat pumps (GCHPs) for space conditioning buildings in a hot, semi-arid climate is assessed. The space conditioning energy demand of a small office building using GCHPs with either vertical or horizontal heat exchangers under unsaturated and saturated soil conditions, evaluated in a companion paper, is used to assess the economic viability via simple payback analysis and the life cycle present value. The assessment includes consideration of enhancing the performance of the GCHPs by improving the properties of the backfill. The results suggest that, with 2016 government incentives, GCHPs with horizontal heat exchangers in unsaturated soil are probably not economically viable in hot, semi-arid climates but that GCHPs with horizontal heat exchangers in saturated soils may be.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-416
Number of pages13
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 302
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event2nd Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils: Applications, PanAm-UNSAT 2017 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2017Nov 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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