Seedling Project Report: A Novel Heat Pump Integrated Underground Thermal Energy Storage for Shaping Electric Demand of Buildings


This report presents a preliminary assessment of the technical feasibility of utilizing underground thermal energy storage (UTES) and electric-driven heat pumps (EDHPs) to enable flexible behind-the-meter electric demand of buildings while meeting their thermal demands in an energy-efficient manner. With a combined EDHP+UTES system, overproduced renewable power or the electricity generated at off-peak hours can be used to produce useful thermal energy to be stored in the UTES. The stored thermal energy is later utilized directly or through an EDHP to meet buildings? thermal demands during peak hours. Because UTES is underground, it can utilize geothermal energy by enabling geothermal heat pumps, which can meet thermal demands with higher efficiency than conventional space heating and cooling technologies. The EDHP+UTES system, therefore, not only shapes electric demand but also saves energy due to its higher efficiency.

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DOE Project Name: A Novel Heat Pump Integrated Underground Thermal Energy Storage for Shaping Electric Demand of Buildings
DOE Project Number: FY18 AOP 2819
DOE Project Lead: Arlene Anderson
Last Updated: over a year ago
Data from May, 2019
Submitted Sep 14, 2019


Oak Ridge National Laboratory



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Xiaobing Liu
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Ming Qu
Purdue University
Liang Shi
Purdue University
Joseph Warner
University of Tennessee


geothermal, energy, Heat Pump, Thermal Energy Storage, Building, Electric-Driven heat pumps, EDHPs, underground thermal energy storage, flexible behind-the-meter electric, UTES, seedling project, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL, dual-purpose underground thermal battery, DPUTB, simulation, lab tested, numerical model, peak generation focus, natural convection modeling, conduction heat transfer, phase change modeling, case study


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