Title: Soil thermal saturation characteristics a limiting performance parameter of an earth air heat exchanger - an experimental investigation

Authors: Swati Donde; Ram Subhash Maurya

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, SPCE, Mumbai, India; MPSTME, NMIMS, Mumbai, India ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, SPCE, Mumbai, India

Abstract: In the continuous work of an earth air heat exchanger (EAHE), the thermal saturation of the soil adversely affects its further working. Hence, for its in-depth analysis, an actual EAHE is modelled as an equivalent cartridge heater and as a source of heat in the soil. Four soil samples were considered for the experimental investigation. The nature of heat propagation in all soil samples under continuous heating for six hours was recorded and studied. In terms of thermal saturation, the soil with the highest thermal conductivity (0.61W m-1 K-1) performed better than the soil with the lowest thermal conductivity (0.01W m-1 K-1). For all soil samples, the maximum heat-affected zone is up to 0.15 m from the heat source. The present work proposes an efficient method of easy investigation to characterise the site soil, which is cost-effective and less laborious compared to other available methods. This paper is really helpful for EAHE designers.

Keywords: earth air heat exchanger; EAHE; thermal saturation; modelling; soil; geothermal; cooling/heating; experimental investigation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRET.2023.127570

International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology, 2023 Vol.14 No.1, pp.77 - 91

Received: 12 Jan 2022
Accepted: 06 Jul 2022

Published online: 09 Dec 2022 *

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