Ground heat transfer in EnergyPlus

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Dear colleagues,

I am teaching a new seminar this spring where we will be digging into more advanced modeling features such as Trombe walls, solar chimneys and ground heat transfer. I cannot wait :).

Regarding ground heat transfer, I know that there are a variety of models available within EnergyPlus from Slab to FC. I wonder if some of you could point me to good best practice guidelines and papers that compare these models. I am particular keen on modeling spaces that are half buried (think Frank Lloyd Wright's Solar Hemicycle).

Thank you for your help,


Christoph Reinhart's picture
Joined: 2012-03-08
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Hi Christoph,

We published a Ground-coupled slab BESTEST in 2009 ([full report];[BS2019 paper] A number of
programs are compared there; this was adapted to become Section 5.2.4 of
ASHRAE Standard 140, /Method of Test for Evaluating Building Performance
Simulation Software/.

More specific to EnergyPlus (and more recently), Neal Kruis of Big
Ladder Software developed the Kiva ground heat transfer calculation
tool, which is integrated with EnergyPlus and has been "BESTESTed".

There's a blurb with section header "Below-Grade Opaque Surfaces" in the
/2017 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals/, p. 19.12; it gives additional
discussion. That's been updated for the soon-to-be published /2021/ /HoF/.



Joel Neymark, P.E.
J. Neymark & Associates
Golden, CO? 80401

Joel Neymark's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
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