Yearly Thermal Analysis of a Residential Earth-Tube Heat Exchanger

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Millette, N. Galanis

Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec J1K 2R1, Canada

J. Sol. Energy Eng 117(1), 22-30 (Feb 01, 1995) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2847711 History: Received April 01, 1994; Revised August 01, 1994; Online February 14, 2008


A finite element program has been written to solve the three-dimensional Fourier equation for the periodic annual temperature field in the ground surrounding an earth tube connected to the heated basement of a residence situated in a northern community. The results indicate that the presence of the earth tube has a marginal influence on the heat losses from the basement to the ground. They also show that the continuous operation of the earth tube throughout the year is not recommended for the climatological conditions under consideration. An appropriate control strategy is therefore formulated. Correlations for the heat gain during winter operation and heat rejection during summer operation are presented in terms of the relevant design characteristics.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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