Journal article Open Access

Article Design Framework and Laboratory Experiments for Helix and Slinky Type Ground Source Heat Exchangers for Retrofitting Projects

Kling, Stephan; Haslinger, Edith; Lauermann, Michael; Witte, Henk; Reichl, Christoph; Steurer, Alexander; Dörr, Constantin

The focus of the experimental work was on shallow spiral geothermal heat exchanger configurations. Real-scale experiments were carried out for vertically oriented spiral collectors (helix) in sand and soil. One objective was to develop a measurement concept in laboratory environment to create a framework for a validated database. This database serves as the basis for further and new development of engineering design tools. To achieve the highest possible data-point density in the observed environment, temperature sensors and a fiber-optic temperature measurement system (DTS) were used. Soil probes were taken in situ before and after the measurements and analyzed at a thermophysical laboratory to determine material properties. The heat flow was controlled by an electric heating cable, which was installed in the form of a spiral-shaped heat exchanger in a 1 m3 container. To guarantee constant boundary conditions, the measurements were carried out in a climate chamber at a defined ambient temperature. The evaluation of the transient response behavior is spatially resolved. The results are coordinate-based temperature points, which describe temperature gradients in all axes of the container over time, which are combined with known soil properties. The collected data was used to develop computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models, which are used to extend the variety of geometry and soil configurations for developing new design tools.

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