The effects of flow direction and thermal short-circuiting on the performance of small-size coaxial ground heat exchangers, currently used in Northern Italy, are studied by finite-element simulations, performed through the software package COMSOL Multiphysics 3.4 (Comsol, Inc.). The real 2-D axisymmetric unsteady heat conduction and convection problem is considered, both for winter and for summer working conditions. The flow in the outer annular passage is laminar in winter and turbulent in summer. The distribution of the fluid bulk temperature in the inner circular tube is determined by means of the weak form boundary condition available in COMSOL Multiphysics; the forced-convection heat transfer in the outer annular passage is simulated directly. Two Small Coaxial Ground Heat Exchangers (SCGHEs) with the same length (20 m) but different cross-sections are examined; moreover, two values of the ground thermal conductivity, as well as two materials for the inner tube wall are considered. The results point out that the annulus-in flow direction (fluid inlet in the outer annular passage) is more efficient than the center-in flow direction (fluid inlet in the inner circular tube) and that, on account of the small length, the effect of thermal short-circuiting is not important for SCGHEs, especially if the annulus-in flow direction is employed.

Effects of flow direction and thermal short-circuiting on the performance of small coaxial ground heat exchangers

ZANCHINI, ENZO;LAZZARI, STEFANO;
2010

Abstract

The effects of flow direction and thermal short-circuiting on the performance of small-size coaxial ground heat exchangers, currently used in Northern Italy, are studied by finite-element simulations, performed through the software package COMSOL Multiphysics 3.4 (Comsol, Inc.). The real 2-D axisymmetric unsteady heat conduction and convection problem is considered, both for winter and for summer working conditions. The flow in the outer annular passage is laminar in winter and turbulent in summer. The distribution of the fluid bulk temperature in the inner circular tube is determined by means of the weak form boundary condition available in COMSOL Multiphysics; the forced-convection heat transfer in the outer annular passage is simulated directly. Two Small Coaxial Ground Heat Exchangers (SCGHEs) with the same length (20 m) but different cross-sections are examined; moreover, two values of the ground thermal conductivity, as well as two materials for the inner tube wall are considered. The results point out that the annulus-in flow direction (fluid inlet in the outer annular passage) is more efficient than the center-in flow direction (fluid inlet in the inner circular tube) and that, on account of the small length, the effect of thermal short-circuiting is not important for SCGHEs, especially if the annulus-in flow direction is employed.
E. Zanchini; S. Lazzari; A. Priarone
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/85327
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