Utilization of Ground Heat Exchangers: a Review

  • Tian Yan
  • Xinhua Xu
Building Sustainability (N Nord, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Building Sustainability


Purpose of Review

Ground heat exchanger takes the soil underground as heat source or sink to supply cooling or heating to buildings. It has been widely used in building heating and cooling systems due to high efficiency and environmental friendliness. This paper reviews the latest research on the ground heat exchanger in buildings.

Recent Findings

Reaserches have shown that the types and usage styles of ground heat exchangers are various and the systematic summary of its features is necessary.


Ground heat exchangers were classified into water- or air-based ground heat exchanger according to the heat transfer medium. Associated studies in each category were introduced. The ground heat exchangers can be used in a passive or active way and related studies/projects are reviewed. To make better use of ground heat exchangers, various technologies may be integrated with ground heat exchangers including solar thermal collectors, cooling towers, nocturnal radiative cooling technology, and solar chimney. while the system complexity and cost should be taken in consideration.


Ground heat exchanger Renewable energy Passive utilization Active utilization Ground source heat pump 


Funding Information

This work presented in this paper is financially supported by a grant (No. 51678263) of National Science Foundation of China.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Building Environment & Energy EngineeringHuazhong University of Science & TechnologyWuhanChina

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