Technical impact assessment of frozen soil on geothermal heat pump technology in western Canada

Geothermal technology provides an attractive solution in reducing fuel consumption. In cold climate regions, the undisturbed ground temperature at a depth of 15-100 m is approximately 5.5℃. Therefore, with the heat extraction by a ground source heat pump (GSHP), the soil temperature in the vicinity of the borehole will decrease significantly, causing the soil to freeze. This project will develop a model to address the freezing issue of the surrounding of a borehole heat exchanger. It will consider the existence of underground water currents, which will help to determine the thermal efficiency and heat transfer of geothermal heat pumps installed in Western Canada. This work will help us identify future research needs, i.e. solar-GSHP.