Geofield Design for Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP)

Hi All,

I’m reviewing GSHP design tools, primarily the list provided by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). These tools assist engineers in designing the ground heat exchanger (i.e. bore field) and in understanding the multi-year energy balance impact of heating and cooling loads on GSHP entering and leaving fluid temperatures.

To the LBT community’s knowledge, are there any grasshopper based or other parametric geofield design tools?

List of tools:

@victorbrac You can assign measures for GLHEPro directly from the NREL library inside of grasshopper. The result is a building simulation that exports to existing ground loop software. For a completely Pythonic solution you should look into Jack Cook’s work at Oklahoma State University. He just created an automated library for g-functions. I have been exposing the ideal air loads (8760s from LBT) directly to GHEDT on PyPi. Check it out and save everyone about $3000 a year in archaic software subscriptions.

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@Geo_curious - very cool. thank you for posting.

If I understand correctly, you’re referencing two approaches:

  1. Purchase license to GLHEPro, then run OpenStudio measures from within grasshopper to export loads to GLHEPro for some automation capabilities.
  2. No license purchase required. Open source python approach using LBT for loads and then exporting to GHEDT on PyPi.

We’ll likely end up purchasing a license to an interface to keep GSHP design accessible for non-grasshopper/python users. But thought I would factor in grasshopper/LBT connection to the decision making. I was leaning toward GLD since they also offer piping design module.

@chris - has LBT considered developing geo-field design components that pair with Honeybee?

Yeah. There is no one size fits all here. I have been looking, too. Apparently LBT and DOE will be coming out with a thermal network feature soon. I saw this in their webinar last year, but I do not know the release timeline. For this thermal network requirement, I have been loading the building models to GIS, then running Thermos or Comsof Heat - central plants versus distributed heat pump. I suppose all of this is possible in Modelica, but I have never taken that leap. I try to limit my software and programming learning experiences, but that rarely works.

We can’t yet say that this is going to be widely accessible soon. Granted, NREL has completed a lot of core infrastructure to create the modelica files for this type of simulation. However, there isn’t yet an easily accessible means of compiling these fairly advanced modelica files into simulate-able models and it may take a while to achieve this. I’m sure we’ll get there eventually but you shouldn’t be counting on it being usable for some time, unless maybe if you are a Modelica expert who could compile them yourself.

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