Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Estimation and prediction of shallow ground source heat resources subjected to complex soil and atmospheric boundary conditions

Gao, Wu ORCID:, Masum, Shakil ORCID:, Qadrdan, Meysam ORCID: and Thomas, Hywel Rhys ORCID: 2022. Estimation and prediction of shallow ground source heat resources subjected to complex soil and atmospheric boundary conditions. Renewable Energy 197 , pp. 978-994. 10.1016/j.renene.2022.07.148

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0960148122011545-main.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (30MB)


5th generation district heating and cooling networks operating at near ground temperature offer a low-cost, zero-carbon energy solution. Detailed understanding and accurate estimation of ground behaviour for its heat storage and recharge potential are of paramount importance for the success of such networks. In this paper, an advanced modelling tool, based on a coupled Thermal-Hydraulic (TH) modelling framework, is presented to calculate and predict temperature and soil-moisture behaviour of a shallow ground under complex atmospheric, temperature and hydraulic boundary conditions. Atmospheric data e.g., solar radiation, rainfall, humidity, air temperature, wind velocity is considered together with subsurface soil data to investigate thermal and hydraulic responses of the ground, and its individual soil layers. Furthermore, a transient method for estimating shallow ground source heat (SGSH) resources is proposed based on the simulated temperature and saturation distributions of the ground. The model is applied to predict the long-term ground temperature and saturation level of a test site located in Warwickshire County, UK. The total heat content per unit area and the annual/seasonal/monthly net heat content per unit area of the site are predicted for a five-year period. The total heat content of the sandy clay layer varied between 2.32 and 11.6 MJ/m2, silty clay from 34.0 to 50.5 MJ/m2, and mudstone from 50.7 to 55.0 MJ/m2. A parametric sensitivity study is also conducted to investigate the effects of soil types and hydraulic drainage conditions on the ground heat supply potential, and it revealed that the spatial and temporal distributions of ground heat is significantly affected by the underlying soils. This study highlights the influences of atmospheric conditions and coupled ground processes, and the parameters that should be considered for designing a 5th generation low-temperature heat network.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0960-1481
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 29 June 2022
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2023 00:35

Citation Data

Cited 1 time in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics