This paper aims to evaluate the thermal performance and feasibility of integrating the Earth-Air Heat Exchanger (EAHE) with the building’s vapor compression air cooling system. In the proposed system, the ambient air is forced by an axial fan through an EAHE buried at a certain depth below the ground surface. EAHE uses the subsoil low temperature and soil thermal properties to reduce the air temperature. The outlet air from the EAHE was used for the purpose of cooling the condenser of the vapor compression cycle (VCC) to enhance its coefficient of performance (COP). The potential enhancement on the COP was investigated for two different refrigerants (i.e. R-22 and R410a) cooling systems. A mathematical model was developed to estimate the underground soil temperature at different depths and the corresponding outlet air temperature of EAHE was calculated. The obtained results showed that the soil temperature in Dubai at 4 meters depth is about 27°C and remains relatively constant across the year. In order to estimate the effect of using EAHE on the performance of the VCC system, a sample villa project was selected as a case study. The obtained results showed that EAHE system contributed efficiently to the COP of the VCC with an overall increase of 47 % and 49 % for R-22 and R410a cycles, respectively. Moreover, the calculated values were validated against Cycle_D simulation model and showed good agreement with a maximum deviation of 5%. The payback period for this project was found to be around two years while the expected life time is about 10 years which makes it an attractive investment.
Ghaith, F., & Alsouda, F. (2017). Enhancing The Performance of the Building’s Vapor Compression Air Cooling System Using Earth-Air Heat Exchanger. In ASME 2017 11th International Conference on Energy Sustainability [ES2017-3200] American Society of Mechanical Engineers. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2017-3200