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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



With a clear correlation between climate change and rising CO2 emissions, decarbonization has garnered serious interest in many sectors to limit the adverse effects of global warming. Heating and cooling systems have been a focus of decarbonization efforts, with heat pumps becoming more popular in the United States and abroad. In fact, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning accounts for nearly 27% of total energy use in the United States [1]. Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) utilizing borehole heat exchangers (BHE) have been shown to be an effective method of electrifying heating and cooling systems, maintaining some of the best performance for any electrified heating and cooling system currently available. Electrification, however, does come with some significant challenges. One of particular importance is the significant increase in peak demand during the heating season, which can result in a serious cost increase for the operator of the electric heating system, as well as adding operational complexities to grid operations by shifting from a summer peak to a winter peak as more heating loads are electrified.

Thermal energy storage (TES) has been shown to be effective in mitigating the increase in peak demand that is seen with electrified heating and cooling systems. By storing thermal energy during off-peak hours, demand can be effectively shifted away from the peak hours. In this study, we investigate the potential of a ground source heat pump coupled with a TES system, in the form of water storage tanks, for the University of Massachusetts, as a way of decarbonizing the institution’s HVAC system while minimizing operating and installed costs.


First Advisor

Dragoljub Kosanovic