GroundCoupled Natural Circulating Devices (Thermosiphons): A Review of Modeling, Experimental and Development Studies
Abstract
:1. Introduction
 Open, single phase, naturally circulating devices (red colour);
 Closed, single phase, naturally circulating devices (green colour);
 Wickless, closed, twophase, naturally circulating devices (blue colour);
 Closed, two phase, devices with a Wick structure (white colour).
1.1. Operation of GCTs
1.2. Main Stages of GCT Development
1.3. Latest Developments
1.3.1. GCTAssisted Heat Pump (GCTHP)
1.3.2. Smart or Reversible GCT
1.3.3. Polymer Thermosiphons
1.3.4. VapordynamicThermosiphons
1.3.5. Thermosiphon with Internal Screw Insert
1.3.6. Thermosiphon Heat Transfer Device with Bubble Driven Rotor
2. Thermosiphon Applications
3. Performance of GCTs
 Climatic conditions: ambient temperature, solar radiation, wind effect, rain, humidity, sky temperature, coolant flow rate and temperature, site constraints such as orientation, tilt, and surroundings;
 Thermosiphon characteristics: material properties, surface coatings, absorptance, geometry such as diameter and length of various sections (evaporator section, adiabatic, and condenser sections), working fluid properties, filling ratio, and internal working pressure;
 Ground thermal properties: temperature, thermal conductivity, and thermal diffusivity;
 Other conditions: load characteristics related to the application and climate warming.
3.1. Mathematical Modeling, Simulations, and Parametric Studies
3.1.1. Modeling and Simulation
3.1.2. Parametric Studies
3.2. Experimental Studies on GCTs
 Provide a better understanding of the heat transfer processes occurring in the different GCT types, analyze the cooling and heating mechanisms of the different engineering measures proposed, and evaluate their performance and the main controlling factors;
 Provide laboratory or field data for the validation of numerical simulation models, and the analysis and improvement of longterm performance predictions;
 Further optimize the design, functioning, monitoring, and key design parameters in different environmental settings (e.g., in permafrost regions), and identify the aspects and the methods to be improved;
 Develop new engineering measures for integrating GCTs into the construction to produce a satisfactory performance, technical feasibility, and costeffectiveness.
3.2.1. Performance Evaluation
3.2.2. Working Fluid
3.2.3. Pipe Material
3.2.4. Condenser and Evaporator Design
3.2.5. Experimental Data
3.2.6. Optimized Design, Operation, and Monitoring
3.2.7. Remarkable Engineering Features of Thermosiphons
4. Conclusion
 The inclusion of GCT technology has been successfully demonstrated in different studies for a variety of applications. Further cases continue to be under study either because they are still at the concept stage (large scale extraction of geothermal energy and power production using GCTs) or they are part of newly undertaken research (e. g, smart thermosiphons);
 A variety of analytical and numerical models have been used to evaluate and improve the performance of GCTs. The objectives and the requirements of each development case vary from one application to another. As performance indicators of each application are different and depend significantly on specific location and application characteristics, it was difficult to compare different cases;
 The development of the GCTHP concept appears to be very interesting not only for singlefamily house uses, but also for meeting the needs of high capacity urban heating systems. However, their use remains limited compared to conventional ground source heat pumps;
 Given increased concern over the impacts of global warming, the “hybrid GCT” approach may represent the best approach for designing important infrastructures in permafrost. This approach moves from passive to proactive permafrost cooling, in order to better deal with the potential consequences of global warming.
Funding
Conflicts of Interest
Abbreviations
A  area (m^{2}) 
C  conductance (m/°C) 
cp  specific heat J/(kg·°C) 
d  diameter (m) 
g  acceleration of gravity (m/s^{2}) 
R  thermal resistance (°C/m) 
H  enthalpy per unit mass 
h  convection heat transfer coefficient (W/m^{2}·°C) 
k  thermal conductivity W/(m·°C) 
L  length of section 
$\dot{\mathrm{m}}$  mass flow rate (kg/s) 
P  pressure (Pa) 
Q  heat flow (W) 
q  heat flux (W/m^{2}) 
r  radius (m) 
T  temperature (°C) 
t  time (s) 
x  vapor quality (dimensionless) 
COP  coefficient of performance 
CLGCT  closed loop, ground coupled thermosiphon 
GCTHP  GCTassisted Heat Pump 
GCHP  ground coupled heat pumps 
GCT  ground coupled thermosiphons 
GC  geothermal convector 
HPT  heat pipe turbine 
PA  polyamide 
PCTFE  polychlorotrifluoroethylene 
PP  polypropylene 
PTFE  polytetrafluoroethylene 
PVDF  polyvinylidene fluoride 
STGCT  single tube, ground coupled thermosiphon thermosiphon 
TMD  thermostabilizer with Improved Productivity 
TRC  thermosiphon rankine cycle 
TPCT  twophase closed thermosiphon 
VDT  vapordynamic thermosiphon 
α  thermal diffusivity (m^{2}/s) 
Δ  gradient 
η  heat exchange efficiency 
µ  dynamic viscosity (Pa.s) 
φ  diameter (m) 
ρ  density (kg/m^{3}) 
atm  atmospheric 
c  condenser section 
conv  convection 
e  evaporator section 
eff  effective 
f  fluid 
i  inner pipe wall 
l  liquid film 
m  mean 
o  outer pipe wall 
s  soil/solid/freezing 
sat  saturation 
T  total 
v  vapor 
w  water 
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Type  Application/Characteristics  Principle/Details  

Vertical  Thermosiphon 


Thermopile 
 
Double coaxial tube 

 
Helix and Upipe loop 
 
Closed loop 

 
Sloped ST 

 
Flat FT 

 
Flat loop  Slabongrade 
 
Crawlspace  
Flexible evaporator 
Proposed in hybrid system using HP and a superlong flexible heat pipes [53]. 
 
Buried and hairpin 
Type  Main Application/Principle  Finding/ Characteristics  Refrigerant 

GCTHP 



Smart thermosiphon 



Vapordynamic thermosiphons 



heat pipe turbine 



Polymer thermosiphons 

 
Screw thermosiphons 



Publications/Refs.  Objectives/Purpose  Method Used  Conclusions/Special Findings 

[89]  Performance simulation of thermosiphon to mitigate thaw settlement of embankment in sandy permafrost zone 


[53]  Proposed hybrid GSHP SFHP system 


[90]  Calculations for thermal stabilization of transport embankments and their bases 


[40]  Simulation of the heat transfer in pavement with polymer superlong flexible heat pipes (SFHPs) melting snow. 


[91]  Study of six different forms of pile arrangement effect on The Temperature Control Technology of bridge foundation in permafrost regions for the next 50 years. 


[92]  Numerical simulation of the thermal conditions of two phase codes thermosiphon embankments affected by the shadysunny slope effect. 


[31]  Simulation of a 400 m vertical CO_{2} heat pipe for geothermal application 


[32]  Dynamic Simulation and validation of a 400 m vertical CO_{2} heat pipe for geothermal application 


[93]  Application of heat pipes on geothermal heat pump system (HPGSHP).The characteristics of vertical closedloop ground source heat pumps were compared in a typical type, direct expansion type, and heat pipe type, respectively 


[94]  Modelling the crack formation of a highway embankment installed with twophase closed thermosiphons in permafrost regions 


[95]  Control the ground temperature for a tunnel section in a permafrost region. 


[96]  Numerical analysis on the thermal regimes of thermosiphon embankment in snowy permafrost area. 


[69]  To study the longterm cooling effects of thermosiphons around tower footings along the QTPTL 


[97]  Prevention of icing with ground source heat pipe 


[98]  Simulation of the thermal performance of a combined cooling method of thermosiphons and insulation boards for tower foundation soils along the QTPTL 


[99,100]  Examination of the influence of outer thermal resistances in the pipe, borehole filling, and surrounding subsurface on the performance of a partially wetted geothermal thermosiphon. 


[101]  Feasibility study for using thermosiphons with pipelines in arctic regions to reduce the potential for frost heave. 


[102]  Numerical simulation of heat transfer processes in conecylinder pipe and cooling effects of thermosiphon along the QinghaiTibet DC Interconnection Project 


[103]  Applications and analysis of a twophase closed thermosiphon for improving the fluid temperature distribution in wellbores. 


[104]  Investigation on the feasibility of periodic two phase thermosiphons for environmentally friendly ground source cooling applications 


[105]  Investigation of partially wetted geothermal heat pipe performance 


[106]  Analysisof heat transfer in thermosiphons and Utube ground source heat pumps 


[107]  Investigation of the cooling effect of combined Lshaped thermosiphon, crushedrock revetment and insulation for highgrade highways in permafrost regions 


[108]  Numerical investigation of the cooling characteristics of twophase closed thermosiphon embankment in permafrost regions 


[109]  Power generation capacity study of an EGS configuration using a thermosiphon. 


[110,111]  Thermal performance study of heat pipe arrays In soil. Evaluated the effect of spacing, type of array, heat pipe properties, and soil properties. 


[101]  Analysis of forcedair and thermosiphon cooling systems for the Inuvik airport expansion 


Section  Thermal Resistance  Convective Heat Transfer Coefficient (h) andHeat Transfer area: A 

Condenser Section  R1 + R2 + R3: R1resistance between the air and the outer wall of the condenser:$R1=\frac{1}{{A}_{c,3}{h}_{oc}}$ R2 for the tube wall of the condenser: $R2=\frac{1}{2\pi \lambda {L}_{c}}\mathrm{ln}\left(\frac{{d}_{oc}}{{d}_{ic}}\right)$ R3 for the liquid film formed inner the condenser:$R3=\frac{1}{{A}_{ic}{h}_{ic}}$  ${h}_{oc}={h}_{conv}\frac{{A}_{c,1}+\eta {A}_{c,2}}{{A}_{c,3}{h}_{oc}}{A}_{c,1}=\pi {d}_{oc}\left({L}_{c}n\delta \right)$ ${A}_{c,2}=\pi \left(2n\left({r}_{2}^{2}{r}_{1}^{2}\right)+2n\delta {r}_{2}\right)$ ${A}_{c,3}=\pi {d}_{oc}{L}_{c}$ ${h}_{conv}=0:1378\frac{{\lambda}_{air}}{{d}_{oc}}R{e}^{0.718}P{r}^{1/3}$ ${h}_{c}=0.0943{\left[\frac{{\rho}_{f}{k}_{f}^{3}g({\rho}_{f}{\rho}_{v}){h}_{fg}^{}+0.68{C}_{p,f}^{}({T}_{v}{T}_{c})}{{L}_{c}{\mu}_{f}^{}({T}_{v}{T}_{c})}\right]}^{1/4}$ Nusselt theory in [134] 
Adiabatic Section  $R4=\{\begin{array}{c}0thethermosiphonisinworkingstate\\ +\infty thethermosiphonisnotinworkingstate\end{array}$  ${A}_{ic}=\pi {d}_{ic}{L}_{c}$ 
Evaporator Section  R5 + R6: R5 for the liquid film and liquid pool in the evaporator:$R5=\frac{1}{{A}_{ie}{h}_{ie}}$ R6 for the tube wall in the evaporator: $R6=\frac{1}{2\pi \lambda {L}_{e}}\mathrm{ln}\left(\frac{{d}_{oc}}{{d}_{ic}}\right)$  ${A}_{ie}=\pi {d}_{ie}{L}_{e}$ ${h}_{e}=0.32\left[\frac{{\rho}_{f}^{0.65}{k}_{f}^{0.3}{C}_{p,f}^{0.7}{g}^{0.2}{q}^{0.4}}{{\rho}_{v}^{0.25}{h}_{fg}^{0.4}{\mu}_{f}^{0.1}}\right]{(\frac{{P}_{sat}}{{P}_{atm}})}^{0.3}$ [146,147] 
Total Thermal Resistance  ${R}_{T}={\displaystyle \sum}_{i=1,6}Ri$ 
Fluid  Casing Materials Compatibility  

Metal  Polymers  
Aluminum  Cooper  Stainless Steel  Ferritic Steels  PTFE, PCTFE, PVDF, PA, PP  
Ethane  ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓  PTFE, PVDF 
R22      ✓    PTFE 
R410a      ✓     
Propane  ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
R134a      ✓     
R11  ✓    ✓  ✓  PTFE 
Ethanol  acceptable  acceptable  ✓  acceptable   
Acetone  acceptable  ✓  ✓  ✓  PTFE 
Ammonia  ✓  corrosive in presence of moisture  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
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Badache, M.; Aidoun, Z.; EslamiNejad, P.; Blessent, D. GroundCoupled Natural Circulating Devices (Thermosiphons): A Review of Modeling, Experimental and Development Studies. Inventions 2019, 4, 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions4010014
Badache M, Aidoun Z, EslamiNejad P, Blessent D. GroundCoupled Natural Circulating Devices (Thermosiphons): A Review of Modeling, Experimental and Development Studies. Inventions. 2019; 4(1):14. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions4010014
Chicago/Turabian StyleBadache, Messaoud, Zine Aidoun, Parham EslamiNejad, and Daniela Blessent. 2019. "GroundCoupled Natural Circulating Devices (Thermosiphons): A Review of Modeling, Experimental and Development Studies" Inventions 4, no. 1: 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions4010014