Simulating heat transfer in an aquifer with one or more vertical Borehole Heat Exchangers (BHEs) of a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system by means of a finite difference code is difficult because of the square or rectangular geometry grid and computational times thus limiting the types of evaluations that can be performed. The aim of this work is to explore through MODFLOW-USG code (public domain software) a different approach towards simulating a borefield that would be more efficient computationally, in order to enable simulations of larger domains with multiple BHEs. The Connected Linear Network (CLN) package, introduced in MODFLOW-USG, generally simulates 1-D linear computational cells in a 3-D grid, such as hydraulic pipes in subsoil, but for the first time has been adapted to reproduce vertical closed loop U-pipe of a BHE. Therefore, this work evaluates the MODFLOW-USG and CLN package capability to reproduce the yearly operation of one or more BHEs in an aquifer as a simpler and faster approach compared to a very fine finite-difference discretization. Once the CLN package was adapted, a sensitivity analysis on the grid size refinement was performed. There were several findings from this work. The results of the different numerical models were in good agreement with an already validated model, in terms of exchanged energies and aquifer thermal perturbation. Same analyses were carried out for different groundwater flow velocities and it was confirmed that the exchanged energy by a BHE increases with the groundwater flow velocity in accordance with literature studies. At last, a borefield of 7 BHEs was implemented in a numerical model in a more expeditious and efficient way and without any computational effort.

Simulation of thermal perturbation in groundwater caused by Borehole Heat Exchangers using an adapted CLN package of MODFLOW-USG

Antelmi M.;Alberti L.;Barbieri S.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Simulating heat transfer in an aquifer with one or more vertical Borehole Heat Exchangers (BHEs) of a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system by means of a finite difference code is difficult because of the square or rectangular geometry grid and computational times thus limiting the types of evaluations that can be performed. The aim of this work is to explore through MODFLOW-USG code (public domain software) a different approach towards simulating a borefield that would be more efficient computationally, in order to enable simulations of larger domains with multiple BHEs. The Connected Linear Network (CLN) package, introduced in MODFLOW-USG, generally simulates 1-D linear computational cells in a 3-D grid, such as hydraulic pipes in subsoil, but for the first time has been adapted to reproduce vertical closed loop U-pipe of a BHE. Therefore, this work evaluates the MODFLOW-USG and CLN package capability to reproduce the yearly operation of one or more BHEs in an aquifer as a simpler and faster approach compared to a very fine finite-difference discretization. Once the CLN package was adapted, a sensitivity analysis on the grid size refinement was performed. There were several findings from this work. The results of the different numerical models were in good agreement with an already validated model, in terms of exchanged energies and aquifer thermal perturbation. Same analyses were carried out for different groundwater flow velocities and it was confirmed that the exchanged energy by a BHE increases with the groundwater flow velocity in accordance with literature studies. At last, a borefield of 7 BHEs was implemented in a numerical model in a more expeditious and efficient way and without any computational effort.
Borehole Heat Exchanger
CLN package
Groundwater
Heat Transport
Modflow-USG
Unstructured grid
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1188949
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