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Saint-Lazare, Canada

Raymond J.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Mercier S.,Versaprofiles | Nguyen L.,Versaprofiles
Geothermal Energy | Year: 2015

Background: Ground heat exchangers installed in boreholes are an expensive component of a ground-coupled heat pump system, where minimizing the borehole length with appropriate materials and configuration can reduce the overall cost of the system. Methods: Design calculations performed analytically indicate that the coaxial pipe configuration can be more advantageous than the single U-pipe configuration to reduce the total borehole length of a system. Results: A decrease of the borehole thermal resistance and an increase of the thermal mass of water contained in the coaxial exchanger helped to reduce borehole length by up to 23% for a synthetic building load profile dominated by cooling. The decrease of the borehole thermal resistance was achieved with an outer pipe made of thermally enhanced high-density polyethylene, where the thermal conductivity is 0.7 W m-1 K-1. Conclusions: The coaxial configuration requires further investigations of the technical barriers related to the installation of ground heat exchangers in the field. © 2015, Raymond et al.; licensee Springer.

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