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Development of numerical models of vertical ground heat exchangers and experimental verification : domain decomposition and state model reduction approach

Abstract : Ground-source heat pump systems with vertical ground heat exchangers (GHE) are gaining popularity worldwide for their higher coefficients of performance and lower CO2 emissions. However, the higher initial cost of installing the borehole GHEs is a main obstacle to spread the systems. To reduce the required total GHE length and efficiently operate the systems, various systems such as hybrid ones (e.g. solar heat injection) have recently been introduced. Accurate prediction of heat transfer in and around boreholes of such systems is crucial to avoid costly overdesigns or catastrophic failures of undersized systems as it is for typical GCHP systems. However, unlike the traditional sizing methods, it is increasingly required to take into account detailed borehole configuration and transient effects (e.g. short circuit effects between U-tubes). Many of the existing GHE models have been reviewed. Some of these models have serious limitations when it comes to transient heat transfer, particularly in the borehole itself. Accordingly, the objective of this thesis is to develop a model that is capable to accurately predict thermal behaviors of the GHEs. A precise response to input variations even in a short time-step is also expected in the model. The model also has to account for a correct temperature and flux distribution between the U-tubes and inside the borehole that seems to be important in the solar heat injection case. Considering these effects in 3D with a detailed mesh used for describing the borehole configurations is normally time-consuming. This thesis attempts to alleviate the calculation time using state model reduction techniques that use fewer modes for a fast calculation but predict similar results. Domain decomposition is also envisaged to sub-structure the domain and vary the time-step sizes. Since the decomposed domains should be coupled one another spatially as well as temporally, new coupling methods are proposed and validated particularly in the FEM. For the simulation purpose, a hybrid model (HM) is developed that combines a numerical solution, the same one as the 3D-RM but only for the borehole, and well-known analytical ones for a fast calculation. An experimental facility used for validation of the model has been built and is described. A comparison with the experimental results shows that the relatively fast transients occurring in the borehole are well predicted not only for the outlet fluid temperature but also for the grout temperatures at different depths even in very short time-steps. Even though the current version of 3D-RM is experimentally validated, it is still worth optimizing the model in terms of the computational time. Further simulations with the 3D-RM are expected to be carried out to estimate the performance of new hybrid systems and propose its appropriate sizing with correspondent thermal impacts on the ground. Finally, the development of the model 3D-RM can be an initiation to accurately model various types of GHE within an acceptable calculation time.
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Eui-Jong Kim. Development of numerical models of vertical ground heat exchangers and experimental verification : domain decomposition and state model reduction approach. Other [cond-mat.other]. INSA de Lyon, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011ISAL0026⟩. ⟨tel-00684138⟩

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