Design and construction of a mobile equipment for thermal response test in borehole heat exchangers

University essay from KTH/Tillämpad termodynamik och kylteknik


In 2010, the Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) market in the European Union went up over one million (1 014 436 units at the end of 2010 according to EUROBSERV’ER 2011). In 2011, it was estimated around 1.25 million according to Bayer et al. (2012). With more than 378 000 units installed in 2010, according to the Swedish heat pump association (SVEP), the Swedish GSHPs market was the first in the EU. As for the French GSHPs market, it was estimated to 151 938 units in service in 2010, which propelled France at the third rank in the EU. However, despite a relatively important number of GSHPs installed in the whole EU, since 2008 GSHP sales have shrank. Even Sweden which has been the most competitive country sees its GSHP sales decline in the first quarter of 2012 (EUROBSERV’ER 2011).

This report is the achievement of my Master of Science Thesis project. It also represents the end of my studies at INSA Lyon in France and concludes my degree in Energetic and Environment Engineering. This report deals with the improvement of a heat injection apparatus which is available at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology). This equipment is better known as Thermal Response Test (TRT) apparatus. This kind of equipment improves Borehole Heat Exchangers (BHE) design in terms of size and cost benefits. This technology is generally used to design GSHP installations in both domestic and industrial purposes. It allows to determine really important thermal BHE parameters: the thermal conductivity of the ground and the borehole thermal resistance. The report covers a theoretical description of TRT experiments, the reasons and objectives of such a project, the apparatus design and its construction. The last part is dedicated to a first experimental laboratory results and some problems met during the project course. 

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