Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gorla, Rama

Subject Headings

Geothermal engineering, Geothermal resources, Geothermal, SINDA, Ivan, Erceg, Green, Energy, Renewable, Heat

Abstract

The issue being examined is to design a more economical and efficient therefore superior geothermal system than currently in use in industry. Current geothermal systems are designed and built 300 feet into the ground. After researching ground temperature gradients for Ohio we found out that below 10 feet of depth, the temperature varies by 1 degree Fahrenheit per 100 feet depth. Our goal is to utilize the heat as close to the surface as possible and greatly reduce the need to dig so deeply into the ground. The procedure used to go about designing a superior geothermal system is to model an oversized tank going down about 50 feet in depth. Then analyze the model using ground temperature gradient data and the SINDATHERMAL Analyzer program. By investigating different glycol flow rates, glycol supply temperatures, and tank dimensions we are able to investigate various designs and analyze the results for optimization. Our results were such that by using our central tank design we were able to design a Geothermal system superior in terms of performance, construction costs, and operating costs to what is in use in industry today. Our conclusion is that there is no need to drill down 300 feet using traditional Geothermal designs when, by using our design, drilling down 50 feet and using a central tank will result in superior heat flow

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