Sustainable Approach to Improve the Efficiency of Earth Pipe Cooling System
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Earth pipe cooling (EPC) is a type of passive cooling system that takes advantage of the nearly constant underground temperature of the Earth to cool the atmospheric air in a confined space. The efficiency of this system depends on several factors, including the size and position of the inlet pipe, the velocity of the incoming air, shape of the cooling spaces and inlet surface pattern. However, ensuring uniform dispersion of the incoming cooled air can also improve the thermal comfort and efficiency of the EPC system, which has been overlooked in most of the existing studies.
This work, in this regard, presents a relevant parametric study to highlight that the efficiency of the EPC can be improved significantly by dispersing the coming flow through the proper utilisation of turbulators near the inlet. Thermal models are developed in ANSYS Fluent to perform this simulation-based study. 12 test cases are designed by varying the number of aerofoils and radius of their circular base. It is found that the application of turbulators can help to reduce the domain temperature by around 0.8°C, thus saving an additional 0.84 kWh of energy per day for the particular cooling space considered in this study.
However, more studies, for example, analysing the effect of change of angle of attack of the aerofoil shaped turbulators, varying wall temperatures, changing the initial temperature of the cooling space, experimental analysis to understand the effectiveness of the system can be carried out for a better understanding of this proposed design.