A dual-purpose underground thermal battery (DPUTB) was proposed for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings. It integrates underground thermal energy storage with a shallow-buried ground heat exchanger (less than 6 m deep). The charging and discharging performance of a lab-scale DPUTB were experimentally investigated. The test results show that the lab-scale (1:125 in volume) DPUTB can provide 34 W cooling continuously for 3.7 h with a supply water temperature below 14°C. The water temperature rise of the inner tank was slowed down during the discharging process due to the phase change of the phase change material (PCM). Thermal storage capacity was increased by 156% using the PCM that only occupied 19% volume of the inner tank. The heat lost from the inner tank was recovered in the outer tank and led to the efficiency improvement of a ground source heat pump.
Keywords Ground heat exchanger, demand response, phase-change material, thermal storage, underground thermal battery