Numerical analysis and experimental validation of heat transfer in ground heat exchangers in alternative operation modes

P. Cui, Hongxing Yang, Z. Fang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


A finite element numerical model has been developed for the simulation of the ground heat exchangers (GHEs) in alternative operation modes over a short time period for ground-coupled heat pump applications. Comparisons between the numerical and analytical results show that the finite line-source model is not capable of modeling the GHEs within a few hours because of the line-source assumption. On the other hand, the experiments with respect to the alternative cooling and heating modes have been undertaken during a short-time period. The comparisons show a reasonable agreement between the numerical and the measured data. The results illustrate that the finite element numerical model can be used to simulate the heat transfer behavior of the GHEs in short time scales instead of the typical finite line-source model. Finally, the variation of the U-tube pipe wall temperatures demonstrates that the discontinuous operation mode and the alternative cooling/heating modes can effectively alleviate the heat buildup in the surrounding soil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1066
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2008


  • Alternative operations
  • Ground heat exchanger
  • Numerical heat transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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