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Open library of g-functions for 34,321 configurations

Spitler, Jeffrey D.
West, Timothy
Liu, Xiaobing
Borshon, Ishraque
Thermal response functions, known as g-functions, are commonly used in ground heat exchanger design tools and whole building energy simulation programs to simulate the ground heat exchanger performance. Calculation of g-functions can be quite computationally time-consuming, particularly as the number of boreholes gets large. However, once the g-function is computed, the actual simulation time can be quite short, particularly if a hybrid time-step (Cullin and Spitler 2011) approach is used. Because of this, pre-computed g-function libraries are commonly used in design tools and building simulation tools. This paper describes development of a new, publicly available library containing g-functions for 34,321 borehole field configurations; for each configuration, gfunctions are provided for 5 depths to allow interpolation between different borehole-to-height ratios. The available configurations include configurations in standard shapes: lines, rectangles, open rectangles, L-shapes, and U-shapes. It also includes new configurations: C-shapes, lopsided-U-shapes, and zoned rectangles, which are rectangular configurations with different interior and perimeter spacing of the boreholes.