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Ground heat exchangers: Applications, technology integration and potentials for zero energy buildings

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Publication date: December 2018Source:Renewable Energy, Volume 128, Part A
Author(s): Jiajia Gao, Anbang Li, Xinhua Xu, Wenjie Gang, Tian Yan
Ground heat exchanger takes the soil underground as heat source or sink to supply cooling or heating. It has been widely used in building heating and cooling systems due to high efficiency and environmental friendliness. This paper reviews the latest research on ground heat exchangers from several new perspectives and demonstrates their potentials in achieving zero energy buildings. Firstly, ground heat exchangers are classified into water-based and air-based ones based on the heat transfer medium. They can be used in a passive or active approach. Associated research and projects for each approach are introduced and analysed. Then the integration of ground heat exchangers with various cooling and heating technologies and related studies are reviewed. These technologies include solar thermal collectors, cooling towers, nocturnal radiative cooling technology, solar chimney, etc. Finally, a technical route for ground heat exchangers to help realize zero energy buildings is presented, which provides a promising solution to improve energy efficiency of buildings.

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