Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Oak Ridge, TN
-- Insolcorp, LLC. – New London, NC
-- University of Tennessee – Knoxville, TN
DOE Total Funding: $510,000
FY18 DOE Funding: $302,000
Project Term: October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2019
Funding Type: Lab Award
Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) have great potential to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. However, high initial cost of ground heat exchangers (GHX) prevents wider adoption of GSHPs. This project will reduce the cost of GHXs to enable large scale and rapid application of GSHPs.
The project team, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is developing a next-generation GHX that is an underground thermal battery. This GHX is installed in a shallow subsurface, thus requiring less drilling than traditional GHXs. Additionally, it has a much larger heat capacity and is rechargeable.
Through CFD modeling, lab tests of small-scale prototypes, and simulations of long-term performance, this project will evaluate the designs of the next-generation GHX, verify performance, and validate cost and benefits.
This project will develop an innovative and cost-effective ground heat exchanger that has the potential to make highly energy-efficient ground source heat pump systems affordable to millions of U.S homes, which can significantly reduce energy consumption in our nation. Ground source heat pumps have a technical potential to save 5.6 Quads primary energy annually and reduce roughly $49.8 billion in annual energy costs in the U.S. (Liu et al. 2017).1
DOE Technology Manager: Antonio Bouza
Lead Performer: Dr. Xiaobing Liu, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Mingkan Zhang, Xiaobing Liu, Kaushik Biswas and Joseph Warner, “A Three-Dimensional Numerical Investigation of a Novel Shallow Bore Ground Heat Exchanger Integrated with Phase Change Material”, Submitted to Applied Thermal Engineering (IF – 3.771).
- Joseph Warner, Xiaobing Liu, Liang Shi, Ming Qu, and Mingkan Zhang, “A Novel Shallow Bore Ground Heat Exchanger for Ground Source Heat Pump Applications—Model Development and Validation”, Submitted to Applied Thermal Engineering (IF – 3.771).
- Xiaobing Liu, Joseph Warner, Mingkan Zhang, Ming Qu, Liang Shi, Kaushik Biswas. “Development of an Underground Thermal Battery for Enabling Ground Source Heat Pump Applications and Shaping Electric Demand of Buildings”, Submitted to International Energy Agency’s Heat Pump Technologies magazine
1 19. Liu, X., P. Hughes, J. Spitler, A. Anderson. 2017. “An updated Assessment of the Technical Potential of Geothermal Heat Pump Applications in the United States,” 2017 Annual IGSHPA conference, March 14-16, 2017. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22488/okstate.17.000538