The following paper aims to explore a heat pump’s (HP) as well as an organic Rankine cycle’s (ORC) novel combination for the development of both an efficient and low-emissions heating and cooling systems. This latest review examines both benefits and possibilities of a combined HP-ORC system. Previously, studies have explored several different combinations, such as directly-coupled and reversible combination units as well as parallel configurations units in addition to indirectly-coupled ones. Following defining aforementioned configurations, a discussion on their performance is carried out in detail. Considerations for the optimisation of the architecture, overall of such hybrid systems via utilising the same sources while also discussing heat source, sink selection and operating temperatures as well as thermal energy storage, expander/compressor units, control strategies in addition to working fluids’ selection and managing seasonal temperatures that are increasingly variable, have been identified. Additionally, the experimental studies that have been performed reveal increasingly practical obstacles as well as other areas that require more research while serving to shed light on experimental techniques, which can be applicable to this research’s area.
Based upon research, it has been revealed that regional conditions including temperatures and annual weather as well as the cost of energy produce a colossal effect on such systems’ economic feasibility framework as well as partially dictating the overall system configuration’s selection. Additionally, the review disclosed how important the following elements are: 1) a greater temperature differential amid the source of heat and heat sink; 2) proper source of heat and sink selection; 3) working fluid selection; and 4) thermal storage for the maintenance of the difference. Comparatively, from the research works from the past, additional optimisation based on individual component level as well as through control strategies of either an advanced or predictive method, these produce a smaller effect and are worth performing an evaluation on economically due to them not being feasible for the current system.
Lastly, based on investigated research, there are certain areas for which recommendation have been provided with regard to future research and this includes a technology configurations’ comparison for understanding different regions’ optimal system, a sensitivity analysis for understanding key system elements for both optimisation as well as design, both an investigation as well as testing carried out for available units and applicable systems that are presently available, and identifying novel use cases.