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Research Papers

Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation Based Comparison of Different Pipe Layouts in an EATHE System for Cooling Operation

[+] Author and Article Information
Kamal Kumar Agrawal

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Malaviya National Institute of Technology,
Jaipur 302017, India
e-mail: kamal.rightway@gmail.com

Rohit Misra

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Government Engineering College,
Ajmer 305002, India
e-mail: rohiteca@rediffmail.com

Mayank Bhardwaj

Department of Renewable Energy,
Rajasthan Technical University,
Kota 304010, India
e-mail: b4mayank@outlook.com

Ghanshyam Das Agrawal

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Malaviya National Institute of Technology,
Jaipur 302017, India
e-mail: gdagrawal2@gmail.com

Anuj Mathur

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Global Institute of Technology,
Jaipur 302017, India
e-mail: anujmathur89@yahoo.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications. Manuscript received September 19, 2018; final manuscript received January 30, 2019; published online April 3, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Aaron P. Wemhoff.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 11(5), 051012 (Apr 03, 2019) (11 pages) Paper No: TSEA-18-1455; doi: 10.1115/1.4042856 History: Received September 19, 2018; Accepted January 30, 2019

Earth air tunnel heat exchanger (EATHE) is a capable and quite simple passive technique which may be utilized for space cooling/heating using the constant temperature of underground subsoil. However, it could not gain much attraction as a heating/cooling system as it requires larger trench lengths to accommodate longer pipes. Larger trench lengths involve huge excavation cost and a sufficiently large piece of land. The length of the trench needed can be reduced substantially by adopting a proper pipe layout. In the present study, the performance of U-shaped, slinky-coil, and helical-coil pipe layouts of an EATHE system is compared numerically using ANSYS FLUENT 15.0. Results reveal that the temperature drop and heat transfer rate per unit trench length are higher in the slinky-coil pipe layout than in U-shaped and helical-coil pipe layouts. After 12 h of continuous operation, the effectiveness of the EATHE system with U-shaped, slinky-coil, and helical-coil pipe layouts is obtained as 0.60, 0.80, and 0.78, respectively. The study reveals that the selection of pipe layout for the EATHE system mainly depends on temperature drop EATHE is capable of giving, heat transfer rate, pumping power required, and ease of fabrication and installation as all these factors directly affect the initial and recurring capital investment for the EATHE system.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Different pipe layouts for the horizontal EATHE system: (a) straight, (b) U-shape, (c) lateral, (d) Wagon-wheel, (e) grid, (f) ring, (g) spiral, and (h) serpentine

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Fig. 2

Isometric view of different layouts of the EATHE system: (a) U-shape, (b) slinky-coil, and (c) helical-coil

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Fig. 3

Meshing of different pipe layouts of the EATHE system

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Fig. 4

Variation of air temperature along the pipe length for different mesh sizes

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Fig. 5

Comparison between the published and present CFD model

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Fig. 6

Static pressure of air (Pascal) in the pipe for different pipe layouts of the EATHE system: (a) U-shape, (b) slinky-coil, and (c) helical-coil

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Fig. 7

Static temperature of air (K) in the pipe for different pipe layouts of the EATHE system after 12 h of operation

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Fig. 8

Variation of air temperature at the outlet with duration of operation at constant inlet air temperature of 319.30 K

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Fig. 9

Variation of the heat transfer rate with duration of operation

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Fig. 10

Variation of effectiveness with duration of operation

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Fig. 11

Rise in soil layer temperature from its initial value at 5 m trench length after 12 h of operation

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Fig. 12

Validation of the Nusselt number and friction factor for the U-shaped EATHE pipe

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Fig. 13

Variation of the Nusselt number with the Reynolds number for different pipe layouts

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Fig. 14

Variation of the friction factor with the Reynolds number for different pipe layouts

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