The performance of ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) depends strongly on the heat transfer between the soil and borehole heat exchangers (BHEs). In the present work, a thermal performance experiment of a BHE under groundwater flow was conducted in Baoding, China. Based on the measurement of the natural ground temperature profile, a simplified theoretical model was presented to estimate the characteristics of groundwater flow. The results showed that the presence of groundwater had an obvious influence on the temperature profile in the aquifer. Due to the strong groundwater advection, the thermal performance of the BHE was enhanced. The enhanced effect depends to a great extent on the distribution and thickness percentage of the ground layer with the greatest groundwater flow. In the present case, the heat injection and heat extraction of the BHE were enhanced on average by 9.8% and 12.9%, respectively, compared with the case without groundwater flow, when the total thickness of coarse sand and gravel layer as a percentage of the borehole depth was 10.6%. This enhanced effect is favorable for reducing the possible imbalance between heat injection and extraction from and to the ground, which is helpful for the long-term operation of GSHP systems. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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