A new model and analytical solutions for borehole and pile ground heat exchangers

Yi Man, Hongxing Yang, Nairen Diao, Junhong Liu, Zhaohong Fang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

288 Citations (Scopus)


The ground-coupled heat pump (GCHP) systems have been identified as one of the best sustainable energy technologies for space heating and cooling in buildings. While the foundation piles of buildings are used to partly take the place of boreholes in the ground heat exchanger (GHE) in recent years, the classical approaches of the line heat source model and the "hollow" cylindrical heat source model for the borehole GHEs fail for thermal analysis and design of the pile GHEs. Evolved from the classical models, a new "solid" cylindrical source model is presented in this paper to consider both the radial dimension and the heat capacity of the borehole or pile. Expressions of the analytical solution are derived for 1-D and 2-D new models by means of the Green's function method. Results obtained from the new 1-D model are compared with the classical line source and "hollow" cylindrical source models of the borehole GHE, and also validated by a numerical solution of the same model. While the 1-D and 2-D solid cylindrical source models can provide adequate tools for design and simulation of the pile GHEs, improvement can also be achieved in simulating the temperature response of the borehole GHEs, especially for short time steps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2593-2601
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Borehole
  • Ground heat exchanger
  • Ground-coupled heat pump
  • Model
  • Pile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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