Thermal evaluation of coaxial deep borehole heat exchangers

Publication date: November 2016Source:Renewable Energy, Volume 97
Author(s): Henrik Holmberg, José Acuña, Erling Næss, Otto K. Sønju
This paper presents a performance study of deep borehole heat exchangers. The coaxial borehole heat exchanger (BHE) has been selected because for the present conditions it has a better performance than the conventional U-tube BHE. A numerical model has been developed to study the coaxial BHE. The model predictions are compared to detailed distributed temperature measurements obtained during a thermal response test. The model is found to accurately predict the behavior of a coaxial BHE. The influence of the flow direction of the mass flow is studied for BHEs in the range 200 m–500 m. A parametric performance study is then carried out for the coaxial case with different borehole depths, flow rates and collector properties. The results clearly show a significant increase in the system performance with depth. In addition, it is shown that with increasing borehole depth, the heat load that can be sustained by the BHE is significantly increased. An overall performance chart for coaxial BHEs for the depths of 300–1000 m is presented. The chart can be used as a guide when sizing deep BHE installations.

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