22 May 2008
Heat exchange with the bedrock for ground source heat pumps is commonly done with the help of U-pipe energy collectors in vertical boreholes. At the moment, there exist many uncertainties about how efficient the heat transfer between the rock and the collector is. For a complete performance analysis of these systems, a 260 m deep water filled borehole is characterized, by measuring the borehole deviation, the ground water flow and the undisturbed ground temperature. Significant attention is devoted to detailed temperature measurements along the borehole depth during operation providing a complete description of the temperature variations in time both for the secondary working fluid and for the ground water. The results show a deviated borehole from the vertical direction without any relevant ground water flow. The undisturbed ground temperature gradient varies from negative to positive at approximately half of the borehole depth. The transient response of the borehole during the heat pump start up is illustrated and it is observed that there does not exist any thermal short circuiting between the down and up-going pipes when the system is in operation.