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2011 International Conference on Electronic &Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology

Performance Analysis of Seasonal Soil Heat Storage Air Conditioning System in

Solar Ground Coupled Heat Pump
Fang Wang1,a, Zhilong Liu', Zhongjian Li
, Yuejun Liu ', Zuomin Wang
Maoyu Zheng
IHarbin University ofScience and Technology Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
2United Technologies Research Center (China) Ltd. Shanghai, China
3Harbin Institute ofTechnology Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China
Abstract-Aimed to ground source heat pump's low coefficient
of performance and regional requirement, solar-ground
coupled heat pump system with soil heat storage has been
advanced. Simulation analysis was done for the underground
heat exchanger using finite element method. Variety trend of
soil temperature with different depths, different running
conditions and different properties of soil were revealed. The
analysis results show that it is especially suitable for severe
cold areas and provides theoretical basis for residential using.
Keywords-solar-ground coupled heat pump (SGCHP); heat
storage; soil temperature; performance
Ground source heat pump (GSHP) as we know has been
widely used for years as its renewable and environmental
protecting. The suitable areas to GSHP are those districts
where the underground soil temperature is between 10C to
20 C or more underground heat exchangers may be installed
in cold climatic conditions. Solar-ground coupled heat pump
(SGCHP) can solve the problem above. The basic objective
with a SGCHP is to attain higher heating or cooling
Coefficient of Performance (COP) in comparison to regular
heat pump system.
Solar assisted heat pumps have a variety of system build-
up due to various components, temperature levels, thermal
requirement, climate and system output [1,2]. The
assessment of SGCHP system performance of various
designs and operations has been made by theoretical
simulations or experimental tests [3,4]. Inalli and Esen
compared thermal and economic performance of solar
heating systems with seasonal storage [5,6]. Stojanovic
studied long-term performance test of a full-scale solar-
assisted heat pump. Analysis shows that the system was
successfully in full operation fulfilling heating requirements
for low energy use with unfavorable building conditions [7].
The experimental system was established in severe cold
area in Harbin (lat4541', longI2637'), in China. Building
gross area is 660m
, and heating area is about 570m
building is a conservation construction, exterior and interior
wall are saving walls, and there is a 150mm thick
polystyrene insulation outside the exterior wall. Windows are
978-1-61284-088-8/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE
three-layer 1.5m
1.8m conservation windows, which has
good seal performance.
Seasonal soil heat storage heating air-conditioning system
consists of four parts: ceiling solar collecting system,
underground embedded heat exchange system (soil heat
storage system), heat pump system and air conditioning
terminal unit (floor radiant heating system). Besides there are
two flat heat exchangers, one is for the heat exchange
between solar hot water direct heating system and floor
radiant heating system, the other is for the heat exchange
between solar collection system and soil heat storage system.
Figure 1 is the schematic diagram of soil storage SGCHP
II -1
I-solar collector; II-soil heat exchanger; III-floor radiant system; IV-heat
pump; v" VI-flat heat exchanger; PI" P2" P3" P4-circulation pump; 1-
21magnetic valve.
Figure 1. Schematic diagram of soil storage SGCHP system
Solar collecting system is composed of four rows' series
flat heat connecting parallel. Total collecting
areas are 41.4m, which are installed on the 60 degree
obliquity south ceiling.
Underground soil heat exchanging system adopted vertical
U type heat exchangers embedded under 53depth soil. Single
vertical well with single U-tube connected parallel totally 12,
which are 3 rows and 4 lines.
Air-conditioning terminal unit used floor radiant heating
system, which is a new conservation terminal unit. Floor
12-14 August, 2011
heating temperature range is between 30"-'50C, that makes
it possible for solar collector or heat stored underground
heating in winter.
Figure 2. Three dimensional diagram of vertical U-tube soil heat
A I - A aT: I
he a r=r - s a r=r
rout rout
-A aTs (z,r,e, r)1 = 0
:s ar r=ro
-A aTs(z, r,(J, r )1 = 0
s az z=53
tn: I a T -T =_----l2!...
(/ he) 8r
Boundary condition between U'-type pipe outside wall
and soil is that:
Where Psis density of soil (kg/m'); C
is specific heat of
soil (kJ/kg C); T is transient temperature of soil (OC); r is
time (s); z is depth of stratum (m); r is distance of one
point to axes (m); () is tangential component (rad); A is
conductivity ofsoil (W/m C).
C. Initial condition and boundary conditions
Initial condition is expressed as following:
Where T
is fluid temperature inside pipe; t; is
temperature of soil heat exchanger wall; T: is temperature of
surrounding soil.
Boundary conditions are expressed as followings:
Boundary condition between fluid in pipe and U-type pipe
inside wall is that:
Boundaryab (bc,ef) is considered as adiabatic condition,
they can be expressed as:
a b


I> -< .tQJlli


A. Physical Model ofSoil Heat Exchanger
Soil heat exchanger is main component of the system.
Heat transfer effect of vertical V type heat exchanger
affected the coefficient of performance (COP) directly.
Actual heat transfer between soil heat exchanger and
surrounding soil is complicated and unsteady process. In
order to analyze the problem conveniently, essential
simplifications must be done. The physical model was
simplified as following [8-10]: 1) Variety of conductivity is
neglected caused by thermo coupled humid transfer effect
and underground water advection heat transfer effect. Heat
transfer between soil and embedded exchangers is
considered as pure conduction. Soil is stratified according to
the depth. Conductivity of each layer is constant. 2) No heat
transfer is thought between the bottom of the vertical well
and the soil. The boundary can be considered as adiabatic. 3)
Thermal physical parameters of soil, grout, embedded pipes
and the fluid in the pipes are not changed when heat transfer
In theory, effect of embedded pipe to the surrounding soil
can reach infmite area. In actual, with the increase of
distance, influence ofthe U'-tube to the soil temperature field
is smaller and smaller, it can be neglected when it is far
distance. Figure 2 is the regime considered in actual
Boundary cd is the third type condition, it can be
described as:
Boundary ad is the second type condition, it can be
characterized as:
B. Mathematical Model ofSoil Heat Exchanger
Surrounding soil temperature of vertical U'-type embedded
pipe is a columnar temperature field, columnar coordinate
system is selected. According to the assumption above,
control equation of three dimensional temperature field of
surrounding soil is given below:
tn; (z, r, e, t ) I [ ] (r)
-As =h
According to the controI equation, initial condition and
boundary conditions, transient numerical simulation was
done for soil temperature field. It was begun from Nov. of
the first year. Nov. to next Apr. is heating period, Apr. to
June is heat storage period, June to Sep. is air conditioning
period and Sep. to Nov. is the other heat storage period.
Heating load is far higher than cooling load in severe cold
areas. Soil stores heat by solar collection system in
transitional seasons and summer. Heat is extracted form the
soil to meet the demand of great heating load in winter. Soil
temperature field was studied in succession for two years to
the layers of5m, 30m and 50m underground. Figure 3 is Soil
temperature variety surrounding heat exchangers.
A-heating period; B- transitional period; C-air conditioning period
Figure 4. Variety of soil temperature in different operation condition in
two years' running
Soil is complex porous medium composed of solid, liquid
and gas. Heat transfer process of saturation region of soil is
conduction-convection coupled process. The conductivity
and specific heat are two main affect factors of heat transfer
of underground embedded pipes. Three different properties
of soils were selected for comparing. Table I is the properties
of the soils.
A-heating period; B- heat storage period; C-air conditioning period
Figure 3. Variety of surrounding soil temperature for two years
It can be shown that vibration of soil temperature variety
is smaller in 30m and 50m depths than in 5m depth and
temperatures in these three layers are higher in the second
running cycle than in the first one. It can be gotten that heat
may be stored less in the second running year and the effect
can be the same with the first year.
Soil heat storage benefits to keeping soil heat balance,
while soil temperature reduces after extract heat in winter
heating period in GSHP or SGCHP system especially in
severe cold areas. Figure 4 is soil temperature variety in 50m
depth in three running conditions. Differences among these
conditions are whether it has heat storage in transitional
period and it is SGCHP system or GSHP system.
It was presented that soil temperature became the lowest
in next Apr. Soil temperature resumed before the next
heating period. The effect of the resumption from good to
bad is SGCHP with heat storage in transitional period,
SGCHP without heat storage in transitional period and
GSHP in tum. Soil temperature's trend is rising only in the
first condition; the trend of soil temperature is falling in the
other two conditions. It cannot meet the demand of heating
in winter in severe cold areas in only GSHP system.
Property of Soil
Conductivity Specific Heat Density
(W/moC) (J/kgoC) (kg/nf)
:::;30% 1.89 1800 2125
:::;40% 2.44 2120 1975
>40% 3.02 2430 1825
A-heating period; B- heat storage period; C-air conditioning period
Figure 5. Variety of soil temperature in different soil properties
Figure 5 reveals the variety of soil temperature in different
soil properties. It shows that conductivity of soil of water
content bigger than 40 percent is the highest; heat exchange
is the most between soil and heat exchanger and the
temperature of soil rises faster in transitional period. Thus it
is helpful for heating in winter in SGCHP system with heat
This paper presents the long-term performance of a
SGCHP system with soil heat storage for residential heating
in Harbin, a severe cold city in north-east in China. The
system consists of four parts, and the underground heat
exchanging system is a part which influents the effect of
heating directly. Simulation was done of vertical U-tube heat
exchanger by finite element method. It can be concluded as
1) Compared among 5m depth, 30m depth and 50m depth,
the deeper the soil, the better storage property and stability of
soil temperature it has. It reveals that vertical U-tube heat
exchanger had better have the depth over 50 meters.
2) The soil temperature is higher than initial value with
two years' running in SGCHP system with soil heat storage.
Compared with no heat storage SGCHP and GSHP system, it
indicates that heat storage in transitional period is essential
and helpful.
3) Soil is a complex medium, its properties affects the heat
transfer effect. Three kinds of soil were contrasted that high
water content soil has bigger conductivity, better heat
transfer and faster restorability ofsoil temperature.
SGCHP system with underground heat storage is fit to
heating system in severe cold areas. It can satisfy the
requirement of heating in long winter. It provides theoretical
basis for residential using.
This work was supported by the Program of Heilongjiang
Province Educational Department (No.11531038)
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