Modelling Of The Thermal Interactions Of Underground Railways With Nearby Vertical Ground Heat Exchangers In An Urban Environment

PhD Thesis


Revesz, A (2017). Modelling Of The Thermal Interactions Of Underground Railways With Nearby Vertical Ground Heat Exchangers In An Urban Environment. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Built Environment and Architecture https://doi.org/10.18744/PUB.002071
AuthorsRevesz, A
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) can provide an efficient way of heating and cooling
buildings due to their high operating efficiencies. The implementation of these systems in
urban environments could have further benefits. In such locations ground source heat is
potentially available from alternative sources such as underground railways (URs).
The potential benefits for using the waste heat generated by URs with localised GSHPs are
established in this thesis. This was achieved through investigations of UR-GSHP
interactions.
The research detailed here was mainly conducted through Finite Element (FE) numerical
modelling and analysis. First a preliminary two-dimensional (2D) FE model was developed.
This model was highly simplified to enable rapid analysis of the systems. The model was
used to establish key parameters and phenomena for more detailed additional research.
Since the operation of the URs and GSHP involves complex, transient, three-dimensional
(3D) transport phenomena and extreme geometrical aspect ratios, 3D numerical models of
URs and vertical ground heat exchangers (GHEs) were independently developed and
validated. These individual models were then built into the same modelling environment for
their combined analysis. Initial investigations with the combined 3D model showed that
interactions occur between URs and localised GSHPs.
In order to investigate the effect of specific parameter variations on the earlier established
UR-GSHP interactions, a parametric analysis was conducted. The analysis included two
sets of studies. The first group of studies considered different geometrical arrangements of
the systems, and the second group investigated the effect of altered operational
characteristics options on the interactions.
Overall the results suggested that the performance of a GSHP can be significantly improved
if the GHE array is installed near to the UR tunnel. It was shown that the improvement on the
GHEs average heat extraction rate due to the heat load from the UR tunnel can be high as ~
40%, depending on the size and shape of the GHE array and its proximity to the UR
tunnel(s). It was also concluded that if the design aim is to enhance the heat extraction rates
of urban GSHP systems, constructing the GHEs as close as possible to the UR tunnel would
be essential.
The results gathered from the parametric analysis were used to develop a formula. This
formula is one of the key contributions to knowledge from this research. The formula developed allows approximating the GHEs’ heat extraction improvements due to the nearby
tunnel(s) heat load(s). The formula makes use of a single variable named as interaction
proximity. This variable was found to be one of the key parameters impacting on UR-GSHP
interactions.
At the end of the thesis, conclusions are drawn concerning the thermal interactions of URs
with nearby vertical GHEs and the numerical modelling of such systems. Recommendations
for further research in this field are also suggested.

Year2017
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/PUB.002071
Publication dates
Print01 May 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Apr 2018
Publisher's version
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