Undergraduate Teaching

Engineering Tripos Part IIA Project, GA4: Heat Pump, 2019-20

Engineering Tripos Part IIA Project, GA4: Heat Pump, 2019-20

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Dr A J White

Timing and Structure

Fridays 11-1pm, Tuesdays 9-11am plus afternoons


3A5 useful


The aims of the course are to:

  • To critically assess the value of heat pump technology as a way of reducing emissions of CO2.
  • To design an experiment to measure the performance of the heat pump, and to make measurements which allow its performance to be modelled.
  • To produce a model of the heat pump which is validated against the experimental measurements.


This project looks at the performance of a commercially available heat pump for domestic heating applications. Students will be required to design, build and perform an experiment to measure the performance of the heat pump, and build a model of the heat pump. This model will be used to explore the CO2 saving which could be made by using heat pumps in a domestic heating application. Students will work in groups of 4 to design and perform the experiment. Individual tasks may be distributed amongst group members as decided by the group. Individual reports are required from group members, as well as group reports.

Week 1

Familiarisation with the equipment. Construction of a simple matlab model of the heat pump. Design of the experiment. First interim (group) report and review meeting (20%).

Week 2

Refine experimental plan, build apparatus and make measurements on the performance of the heat pump using an external water circuit.

Week 3

Compare models with performance values obtained from the experiment (interim report). Interim individual report (30%)

Week 4

Measurements of availability loss within the heat pump and refinement of initial model. Improved assessment of carbon saving. Final individual report (30%). Group presentation to share results with classmates (20%).


Coursework Due date Marks

Interim Report 1 (group)

4pm Friday 15 May 2020 (review meeting Tuesday 12 May, PM session)


Interim Report 2 (individual)

4pm Friday 22 May 2020



Final Report (individual with group component)


4pm Friday 5 June 2020




Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.

Last modified: 04/10/2019 14:01