A ground source heat pump (GSHP) system has higher cooling and heating performances than an air source heat pump system, so the GSHP system has attracted attention in the cold regions. Particularly after the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, which damaged nuclear power plants, the GSHP utilizing renewable energy, has become attractive in heating system in the Tohoku region. However, it is necessary to install wells to collect ground source heat, and so, together with the cost of the heat pump itself, the installation cost is a barrier to widespread adoption of this technology in Japan.

On the other hand, due to poor subsoil, foundation piles are often required in the construction of buildings in Japan. By using foundation piles as heat exchangers, which are commonly used in residential construction, the cost of using GSHP systems in houses may be reduced. However, since the placement of the piles depends on the floor layout of the residence, that is arbitrary sequence. Moreover, an arbitrary floor layout requires a complicated multi-dimensional numerical analysis to design the GSHP, and the analysis is burdensome for general designers. Therefore, the use of the model unit of the two-dimensional cylindrical heat exchange well is proposed. The use of this model, which includes an unused volume of soil, reduces the analysis burden for general design tools.

On experience, the arrangement rate is 4 m2 per pile, and the well separation is narrow. And the foundation piles will form a group. So thermal interference between heat exchanger wells might be working hard. In addition, the foundation piles are very short, compared to the traditional borehole depth of 50 to 100 m. Therefore, the thermal performance of the well may degrade compared to that of the traditional GSHP system, although the initial costs are less. Therefore, we examined a GSHP system with heat exchanger piles by using the heat exchange well unit model for residences in the Tohoku region.

As a result, the two-dimensional analysis and more is needed to predict the thermal performances of the heat exchanger piles so that the effect of the pitch of the heat exchange wells on the heat transfer in the axial direction will be large. In cold climates, the heating demand is large and, in the summer, the amount of waste heat to the ground is small, so a large amount of heat penetration into the ground from the atmospheric air is important for continuous GSHP operation in the Tohoku region, and in Fukushima Prefecture in particular.

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