18 May 2017
In order to design a borehole heat exchanger (BHE), which forms the main component of a ground source heat pump (GSHP), two parameters should be known: the effective thermal conductivity of the ground and the borehole thermal resistance. These parameters are estimated by conducting in situ thermal response tests (TRTs). TRTs are conducted in outdoor environments and thus affected by many disturbance factors. Although the estimation may contain significant uncertainty, these two parameters are mostly estimated via a deterministic approach. Considering the impact of the parameters on the initial cost of the GSHP, the estimates as well as their uncertainty should be concurrently evaluated. Thus, in this study, we develop a probabilistic estimation method based on Bayes’ theorem that can provide the parameter estimates and their confidence intervals. Via comparison of our approach with a deterministic method, we identify the advantages of the Bayesian inference method.