WER-7: The use of water source heat pumps in south central Kansas

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Embargo End Date
Fulton, Jay A.
Thomann, Gary C.

Jay A. Fulton and Gary C. Thomann. The use of water source heat pumps in south central Kansas. Wind Energy Report no.7. Wichita State University. Center for Energy Studies, 1979, 86 p.


A water source heat pump (WSHP) operates similarly to a conventional air-to-air heat pump except that instead of using the air as a heat source or sink, a water reservoir, such as ground water, is used. The conventional heat pump system must exhaust heat in the summer into the hot air and draw heat from the cold air in the winter. In contrast, the WSHP,using ground water at a temperature of about 60° F, has a relatively cool heat sink. in the surmmer and warm heat source in the winter. As a result, the water source system uses less energy than the conventional system for the same amount of heat transfer. With t he WSHP 1 ground water is supplied to the heat pump using a well and injected back into the reservoir using a second well. Hence. no net change in the water table results. The use of WSHp's for South Central Kansas was investigated in this study for use in single family dwellings and apartments. The particular topi cs addressed were

  1. System manufacturers and system costs
  2. Water availability and well costs
  3. The economi cs of water source systems compared to gas furnace/ electric air, electric resistance heat/ electric air, and air-to-air heat pumps for heating and cooling. The cost of various types of systems for heating and cooling houses is shown below. These figures are typical costs for three ton units in a new residence.
Table of Content
Sponsored by the City of Wichita Energy Office, Wichita State University, and the State of Kansas