Next Article in Journal
Assessment of Comprehensive Effects and Optimization of a Circular Economy System of Coal Power and Cement in Kongtong District, Pingliang City, Gansu Province, China
Previous Article in Journal
A Grey Water Footprint Assessment of Groundwater Chemical Pollution: Case Study in Salento (Southern Italy)
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 797;

Impact of Boundary Conditions on a Groundwater Heat Pump System Design in a Shallow and Thin Aquifer near the River

College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
School of Civil Engineering, Heifei University of Technology, Heifei 230009, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessandro Franco
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy)
Full-Text   |   PDF [22202 KB, uploaded 11 May 2017]   |  


The exploitation of shallow geothermal energy through a groundwater heat pump (GWHP) is always limited to thick and deep aquifers containing abundant water with a relatively stable temperature. Unfortunately, aquifers in hilly regions which occupy two thirds of China are usually thin and shallow. The boundary conditions in those hilly areas affect the groundwater flow that is used for geothermal energy production. To quantify the impact of boundary conditions on the shallow geothermal energy development, a shallow and thin aquifer near the Qingyi River in Anhui Province was chosen as a case study, and a three-dimensional heat–water model was developed using FEFLOW. The impact of the boundary conditions on the hydrodynamic and temperature fields of the aquifer was analyzed by using the developed model. Furthermore, the well locations of a pumping-recharging system near the river correspond to three different modes of pumping-recharging well layouts that were optimized based on the changes of pumping water temperature and the maximum drawdown. The simulation results indicated that the influence of atmospheric temperature on groundwater temperature is negligible below a depth of 11 m. When the river level is above 28 m, the optimal scheme of pumping-only was used (without considering recharging wells) with a certain distance from the river. This scheme not only operates efficiently, but also reduces the operation cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater heat pump; boundary conditions; numerical model; optimal locations groundwater heat pump; boundary conditions; numerical model; optimal locations

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Shu, L.; Xiao, R.; Wen, Z.; Tao, Y.; Liu, P. Impact of Boundary Conditions on a Groundwater Heat Pump System Design in a Shallow and Thin Aquifer near the River. Sustainability 2017, 9, 797.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top