An Enhanced Vertical Ground Heat Exchanger Model for Whole-Building Energy Simulation

Matt Mitchell, Jeffery Spitler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


This paper presents an enhanced vertical ground heat exchanger (GHE) model for whole-building energy simulation (WBES). WBES programs generally have computational constraints that affect the development and implementation of component simulation sub-models. WBES programs require models that execute quickly and efficiently due to how the programs are utilized by design engineers. WBES programs also require models to be formulated so their performance can be determined from boundary conditions set by upstream components and environmental conditions. The GHE model developed during this work utilizes an existing response factor model and extends its capabilities to accurately and robustly simulate at timesteps that are shorter than the GHE transit time. This was accomplished by developing a simplified dynamic borehole model and then exercising that model to generate exiting fluid temperature response factors. This approach blends numerical and analytical modeling methods. The existing response factor models are then extended to incorporate the exiting fluid temperature response factor to provide a better estimate of the GHE exiting fluid temperature at short simulation timesteps.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number4058
Number of pages27
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-77141


  • G-Function
  • Ground heat exchanger
  • Ground source heat pump
  • Whole-building energy simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'An Enhanced Vertical Ground Heat Exchanger Model for Whole-Building Energy Simulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this