A dual-purpose underground thermal battery (DPUTB) integrates a ground heat exchanger with underground thermal energy storage. It can be installed in shallow boreholes (less than 6 m deep) and thus is less expensive than the conventional ground heat exchangers. The thermal energy storage can be used to shave or shift the electric load for meeting the thermal demands of a building. The charging and discharging performance of a lab-scale DPUTB were tested. The test results show that the DPUTB can be fully charged within 4 h and can provide 34 W cooling continuously for 2.5 h with a supply water temperature below 14Â°C. A small amount of phase-change material significantly increased the thermal storage capacity.
Keywords Ground heat exchanger, peak electric demand, phase-change material, thermal storage, underground thermal battery