Evaluation of earth-to-air heat exchangers with a standardised method to calculate energy efficiency
In designing an earth-to-air heat exchanger (EAHX), a decision on design goals has to be made. If the air flow is given by the ventilation system and the construction site is known, the question is: is it more important to achieve a high specific energy performance based on the surface area of an EAHX, a high adoption of air temperature to ground temperature or a very small pressure loss? This paper deals with the performance of three EAHXs for mid European office buildings in service, with the aim of characterising their efficiency. A general method to compare EAHXs in operation will be introduced. First, the temperature behaviour is described by plots over time and characteristic lines, and compared by standardised duration curves. Second, the energy gain is illustrated by standardised graphs. Third, a parametric model is used to provide general efficiency criteria. Thermal efficiency should be defined by both the dynamic temperature behaviour and energy performance.