Numerical Modeling of Heat Production for a Snow-Melting System Using Geothermal Energy in North Dakota

  • I-Hsuan HoEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


This paper is focused on heat production modeling for a proposed snow-melting system using shallow geothermal energy in North Dakota. The paper presents computations for the heat that is required for a pavement snow-melting system based on averaged climatic and precipitation data and using Chapman and Katunich’s equation. Based on seasonal heat requirements, finite element analysis using COMSOL was performed to simulate the heat extraction process whereby heat is transferred between the soil and the heat collection pipes in a constant subsurface temperature zone. In addition to the thermal properties of the soil, both the fluid in the pipes and the characteristics of the pipes themselves are shown to be significant factors for the heat extraction process. The results of the numerical analysis also indicate that a high level of thermal conductivity of the soil is desirable for a successful heat collection system. Compared to costly studies that involve full-scale prototypes, simulations via numerical modeling can provide cost-effective insights into the important components of a successful snow-melting system.


Heat production Snow-melting system Geothermal energy Finite element analysis (FEA) Numerical modeling 



This research was supported by funding from the National Science Foundation North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological EngineeringUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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