A Comparative Study on the Status of GSHP Applications in US and China

TitleA Comparative Study on the Status of GSHP Applications in US and China
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsXiaobing Liu, Shilei Lu, Zhe Cai, Jinjua Chen
Date Published12/2012

Since the ground source heat pump (GSHP) technology (also often referred as geothermal heat pump) was developed and commercialized in 1970's, more than 1.5 million GSHP units have been installed in the US. The applications of GSHP technology also grew rapidly in China since it was introduced into China in 1990's through collaboration between the Chinese and US governments. It is estimated that 227 million m2 (2.44 billion ft2) building floor space in China have been heated or cooled by GSHP systems by 2009. Both Chinese and the US governments are giving strong incentive and support to promote applications of GSHP technologies.

After decades of practices, both countries have accumulated abundant experience in the application of GSHP technology, but also are confronted with various challenges to rapidly deploy this energy saving technology. Under the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE), researchers reviewed and compared various aspects of the current status of GSHP applications in US and China, including related policies, standards, technologies, equipment, cost of various GSHP systems, and market development.

In this paper, a comprehensive comparison of GSHP applications in the two countries is summarized in six areas: current landscape of GSHP applications, applied technologies, market development, policies and incentives, standards and certifications, and barriers preventing sustainable growth. Based on this comparison, areas where both countries can learn from each other are identified and recommendations for future collaborations are suggested.