Environmental Earth Sciences

, 75:1463 | Cite as

Comparison of ground temperature response of energy pile and borehole heat exchanger during thermal response tests

  • Jin LuoEmail author
  • Haifeng Zhao
  • Shuqiqang Gui
  • Wei Xiang
  • Joachim Rohn
Original Article


Thermal migration of ground heat exchanger (GHE) in subsurface is crucially important to the efficiency and sustainability of ground source heat pump systems. In order to investigate heat transfer efficiency of GHE, ground temperature response during system operation should be analyzed. In this paper, two types of GHEs operate under heating operating condition are simulated by thermal response test. A set of parameters including fluid temperature, borehole wall and ground temperature are monitored with duration of 148 h. The analysis of thermal performance shows that the energy pile has specific thermal rates of 147 W/m which is 230% higher than that of borehole heat exchanger with 56 W/m. Furthermore, heat flux per unit area of the contacting area at borehole wall (\(\overline{q}\), W/m2) is analyzed. The monitored temperature development at the borehole wall for both types of GHEs can be perfectly explained by \(\overline{q}\). The finding of this study indicates that the parameter is useful in estimating ground thermal accumulation of GHEs. The larger the \(\overline{q}\) is, the higher the possible of ground thermal accumulation and unstable performance of GHEs would be.


Energy piles Ground heat exchanger (GHE) Ground temperature response Thermal response test (TRT) 



Great thanks go to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) for the funding of this work (authorized No. 41502238).The project was also supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) No. CUGL150818 and No. CUGL 150610. We thank also the Europäische Union “Investition in ihre Zukunft” Europäischer Fonds für regionale Entwicklung for co-financing of this research project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Luo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Haifeng Zhao
    • 2
  • Shuqiqang Gui
    • 3
  • Wei Xiang
    • 1
  • Joachim Rohn
    • 4
  1. 1.China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Faculty of EngineeringWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Survey Research Institute of the Three Gorges Co. Ltd.WuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and ResearchWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, GeoZentrum NordbayernErlangenGermany

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