Feasibility of foundation heat exchangers for residential ground source heat pump systems in the United States

James R. Cullin*, Lu Xing, Edwin Lee, Jeffrey D. Spitler, Daniel E. Fisher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Foundation heat exchangers (FHXs) used in residential ground source heat pump systems represent a potential cost savings due to their lesser first cost over other types of heat exchangers. By simulating a foundation heat exchanger system for two low-energy house constructions in seventeen United States locations, a preliminary map detailing the feasibility of FHX systems in the United States has been developed, with most of the country showing at least marginal feasibility for the technology. The FHX simulation process uses decoupled models of house and basement; the coupling between the two zones creates a difference of around 1.0°C (1.8°F) in the simulated maximum or minimum heat pump entering fluid temperature. Additionally, the operation of an FHX in the soil around a house was found to have a negligible impact on soil freezing near the house foundation. The FHX simulation needs a fully coupled house/basement model, as well as the capacity to handle snow cover, to be even more robust.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASHRAE Transactions - Papers Presented at the 2012 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Chicago, Illinois
Number of pages10
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Print)9781936504220
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 ASHRAE Winter Conference - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: 21 Jan 201225 Jan 2012

Publication series

NameASHRAE Transactions
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)0001-2505


Conference2012 ASHRAE Winter Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


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