RESEARCH ARTICLE


Borehole Resistance and Heat Conduction Around Vertical Ground Heat Exchangers



Zoi Sagia*, Athina Stegou, Constantinos Rakopoulos
Thermal Engineering Department, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechniou St., Zografou Campus, 15780 Athens, Greece


© 2012 Sagia et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Thermal Processes Labora-tory, Thermal Engineering Department, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechniou St., Zografou Campus, 15780 Athens, Greece; Tel.: +30 210 7723976; Fax: +30 210 7723976; E-mail: zoisagia@mail.ntua.gr


Abstract

Borehole thermal resistance in Ground Heat Exchanger (GHE) installations is affected by several parameters such as geometrical attributes of heat exchanger in the borehole, pipes' characteristics and grout’s thermal conductivity. A study is carried out to compare the values computed by Ground Loop Design (GLD) Software, GLD 2009, with three ana-lytical solutions for U-shaped tubes. The analysis is focused on dimensionless ratios of borehole geometrical parameters (borehole diameter to outside pipe diameter and shank spacing to borehole diameter) and pipes according to Standard Di-mension Ratio (SDR) and on eight common grouts. Finally, the effect of heat conduction in the borehole is examined by means of finite element analysis by Heat Transfer Module of COMSOL Multiphysics. A two-dimensional (2-D) steady-state simulation is done assuming working fluid temperatures for winter and summer conditions and typical Greek undis-turbed ground temperature in a field of four ground vertical U-tube heat exchangers surrounded by infinite ground. The temperature profile is presented and the total conductive heat flux from the pipe to the borehole wall per meter of length of ground heat exchanger is computed for pipes SDR11 (the outside diameter of the pipe is 11 times the thickness of its wall), SDR9 and SDR17 for summer working conditions and three different configurations. It is attempted to reach to comparative results for borehole thermal resistance value through different types of analysis, having considered the major factors that affect it and giving trends for the influence of each factor to the magnitude of its value.

Keywords: Geothermal, Borehole, Borehole Thermal Resistance, Ground Heat Exchanger, Heat Conduction, Standard Dimenssion Ratio.