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DHE - OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

Paul J. Lienau
DHE is a program written for IBM PC and compatible computers in Quick Basic language which
calculates the heat output (kWt) from a downhole heat exchanger (DHE) in a well where convective
steady-state heat transfer is predominant. The program is capable of considering one of two designs:
either perforated casing or perforated promoter pipe inside a casing as shown in Figure 1.
The program was originally written in Fortran (Culver, 1978), converted to HP-85 Basic by Pan,
1983 and into Basic for use on IBM PC and compatible computers.

Perforations

Perforations

Borehole

Casing

Casing

Convertor Pipe

DHE

DHE

Perforations
Perforations

Figure 1. Downhole heat exchanger designs to promote convection.


Using input data including casing inside diameter and wall thickness, borehole diameter, roughness
coefficients for well, casing and DHE, thermal conductivity for casing and DHE, length of DHE,
length between perforations of DHE, DHE inlet temperature, reservoir temperature, DHE mass
flow, mixing ratio and number of DHE loops, it calculates the steady-state heat output. One of fifteen
variables can be selected for a sensitivity analysis.

Program output includes: DHE outlet temperature ( oC), overall heat transfer coefficient of the DHE
(kW/m2 - oC), heat output (kWt), effectiveness of DHE, and the pressure drop across the DHE (m).
The program uses SI units:
Linear dimensions
Temperature
Mass flow rate
Thermal conductivity

meters (m)
o
C
kg/s
W/moC

=
=
=
=

3.28 ft
(5/9)(oF - 32)
79736.6 lb*m/h
0.57782 Btu/h*ft*oF

INPUT
To run the program with the disk installed in the A drive at A<: prompt, enter "DHE".
Note: If multiple data inputs are called for, place a comma between data entries.
1.

Well No. Enter a reference number, up to three digits, to identify a well being analyzed.

2.

If with perforated casing or promotor pipe? Enter 1 for perforated casing or another number
for promoter pipe.
This allows the user to select one of two designs: perforated casing or promoter pipe. Input
data is essentially the same except for dimensions.

3.

Casing inside , (m). Enter inside diameter of casing.


Casing wall thickness (m). Enter wall thickness of casing.

4.

DHE inside diameter (m). Enter DHE pipe inside diameter.


DHE wall thickness (m). Enter DHE pipe wall thickness.

5.

Well diameter (m). Enter well (borehole) diameter.

6.

Absolute roughness for casing (m). For commercially available pipe and tubing, the design
values of the wall roughness (E) are give in Table 1.

Table 1. Pipe Roughness Design Values


______________________________________________________________________________
Material

Roughness, E (m)

Plastic
1.5 x 10-6
Cast iron uncoated
2.4 x 10-4
Commercial steel or welded steel
4.6 x 10-5
Wrought iron
4.6 x 10-5
Borehole
2.54 x 10-2 to 2.54 x 10-3
______________________________________________________________________________
These are only average values for new, clean pipe. After the pipe has been in service for some
time, the roughness could change due to the formation of deposits on the wall or due to
corrosion. Borehole roughness could vary considerably, de-pending on the lithology of the
well and type of drilling rig used.
Absolute roughness for DHE (m). Enter appropriate value or value from Table 1.
Absolute roughness of well (m). Enter appropriate value or value from Table 1.
7.

Thermal conductivity for casing (W/m*oC). Thermal conduc-tivity is a transport property of


the material, provides an indication of the rate at which energy is transferred by the diffusion
process and is temperature dependent. Table 2 gives typical values at various temperatures.

Table 2. Thermal Conductivity of Pipe Materials


______________________________________________________________________________
Material

Thermal Conductivity at Various Temperatures


27oC

128oC

327oC

Plastic
0.26?
--Commercial Steel
60.5
56.7
48.0
Wrought Iron
80.2
69.5
54.7
______________________________________________________________________________
Thermal conductivity for DHE (W/m* oC). Enter appropriate value or value from Table 2.

8.

Length of DHE (m). The length of DHE is the total length of installed DHE minus the depth
of the static water level.
Length between perforations (m). Length between perforations is the length between the
mid-points of the top and bottom sections.

9.

DHE inlet temperature (oC). Enter the actual DHE inlet tem-perature if known or estimate
a temperature about 20oC less than the reservoir temperature.
Reservoir temperature (oC). Enter the maximum measured reservoir temperature.

10.

DHE mass flow (kg/s). Enter an appropriate value or estimate the DHE mass flow rate based
on the heat load. For example, if the peak heat load for a home is 50,000 Btu/hr (50,000
Btu/h/3413 Btu/hr*kW = 14.7 kW) and the temperature drop of the water across the heat
load (closed loop) is 5oC, then the mass flow rate is:
Mw = q/cT
= 14.7 kW/(4.195 kJ/kg*oC)(5oC)
= 0.07 kg/s = 11.4 gpm
where: Mw
q
Cpf
T
l kg/s

= mass flow rate (kg/s)


= heat load (kW)
= specific heat of water at 80oC (kJ/kg*oC)
= temperature drop across the heat load (oC)
= 16.31 gpm @ 80oC

Mixing Ratio (dimensionless). The ratio of convecting water to new water entering the well
has been termed the mixing ratio and is defined as:
Rm

= 1 - Ma/Mt

where: Rm = mixing ratio


Ma = mass flow of new water
Mt = total mass flow of convecting water
Note that a larger mixing ratio indicates a smaller portion of new water in the convection cell.
Mixing ratios may vary widely between wells even in the same aquifer and apparently depend
on aquifer permeability. Unfortunately, at the present time, there is no way to relate mixing
ratio and permeability. Table 3 gives typical values of mixing ratios.

Table 3. Mixing Ratios


______________________________________________________________________________
Rock Type

Mixing Ratio

Fractured basalt
0.5
Coarse sand
0.8
Clayey sand
0.9 to 0.94
______________________________________________________________________________
Number of Loops. Enter the number of identical DHE loops installed in the well.
11.

At the conclusion of the input, the program will prompt the user with the following:
Is Entered Data OK? If Yes type 1; If NO another number.
This allows the user to return to the input section to correct any input errors. Selecting 1 will
result in the input appearing on the display. Entering another number will result in the
program returning to input #1 At this point, all data must be reentered.

12.

The program now prompts: If DHE and Casing are scaled, type "scaled"; Else type "NO"
To account for scaling, the overall heat transfer coefficients for the casing and DHE were
modified as follows:
U = 1/(1/U + 1/U scale)
Calculations for no scaling were set at U scale = 10,000 and scaled at U scale = 850
W/m2*oC.

13.

A hard copy print of the input can be obtained by pressing "shift" and "print screen"
simultaneously.
******INPUT DATA******
Casing inside diameter, m
Casing wall thickness, m
DHE inside diameter, m
DHE wall thickness, m
Well diameter, m
Absolute Roughness for casing, m
Absolute Roughness for DHE, m
Absolute Roughness for well, m
Thermal conductivity for casing, W/m-C
Thermal conductivity for DHE, W/m-C
Length of DHE, m

(I1) =
(H1) =
(I2) =
(H2) =
(D3) =
(G1) =
(G3) =
(G2) =
(K1) =
(K2) =
(L2) =

0.203
0.006
0.052
0.004
0.254
0.000046
0.000046
0.002540
57.000
57.000
50.00

Length between perforations, m


DHE inlet temperature, deg. C
Reservoir temperature, deg. C
DHE mass flow, kg/s
Mixing ratio
No. of DHE loops

(L1) = 40.00
(T1) = 70.0
(T2) = 100.0
(M1) = 0.70
(M2) = 0.80
(N1) = 1

Do you wish to vary DHE of the INPUT variables? If YES type 1; If NO another number?
14.

Do you wish to vary one of the input variables? If YES type 1, If NO another number?
This allows the user to vary one of the following input variables:
******VARIABLES******
1-DHE Inlet Temperature
3-DHE Length
5-DHE Mass Flow
7-DHE Wall Thickness
9-Mixing Ratio
11-Well Diameter
13-Roughness Heights for
Casing
15-Casing Diameter

2-Reservoir Temperature
4-DHE Diameter
6-Number of Parallel Loops
8-Length between Perforations
10-Roughness Heights for DHE
12-Casing Wall Thickness
14-Roughness Heights for Well

Enter variable number, step size and number of steps?


15.

Enter variable number, step size and number of steps? For example, if the DHE mass flow
is selected (enter 5), to increase the DHE mass flow by 0.1 kg/s (0.1 x 16.31 = 1.6 gpm) for
every cycle (enter 0.1), the number of steps the calculation cycles (enter 5).

16.

Is entered data OK? If YES type 1, If NO another number?


This allows the user to change the variable, step size and number of steps. Enter 1 and the
output is displayed.

OUTPUT
The format of the output is shown below:
Enter variable No.
Enter variation step size
Enter No. of steps

(N2) = 5
(N3) = 0.10
(N) = 5

******OUTPUT DATA******
N
Step No.
0
1
2
3
4
5

T out
deg. C
88.8
87.4
86.2
85.1
84.2
83.4

U DHE
kW/m2*oC
3.071
3.217
3.343
3.454
3.551
3.637

EFF .
100%
0.63
0.58
0.54
0.50
0.47
0.45

Headloss
m H2O
0.272
0.348
0.433
0.527
0.630
0.742

Q out
kW
55.3
58.4
61.1
63.4
65.5
67.3

Variable
Step Size
0.70
0.80
0.90
1.00
1.10
1.20

1.

N Step No. Attaches a number, beginning with 0, to each cycle calculation for the variable
selected.

2.

T out (oC). This is calculated temperature out of the DHE. It is calculated as:
T out = T in - qh/m Cpf
where: T out = DHE outlet temperature, oC
qh
= Thermal output of DHE, kWt
m
= DHE mass flow, kg/s
Cpf = Specific heat of water, kJ/kg*oC

3.

U DHE (kW/m2*oC). This is the overall heat transfer coefficient calculated for each case:
U through casing (or promoter) without DHE; U through casing (or promoter) with DHE;
U through DHE. The equation used is:

where: U
hi & ho
Do & Di
k
4.

= overall heat transfer coefficient


= inside and outside film coefficients
= hydraulic diameter inside the casing and
annulus outside the casing
= hydraulic conductivity

EFF. (100%). This is the effectiveness of the DHE. The equation used is:
EH = Q act/Q max
where: Q act =
Q max = m Cpf (To - Ti)

5.

Headloss (m H2O). This is the pressure loss across the DHE in meters of water. The
pressure loss is:
p = f*v2*L/2*g*Dh
where: f = friction factor
v = velocity, m/s
L = length of pipe, m
g = gravitational acceleration, m/s2
Dh = DHE inside diameter, m

6.

Q out (kW). This is the DHE heat output.


where: Cpf

= specific heat of water, kJ/kg*oC

= DHE length/total length between


perforations
W1 + W2 + W3 = Cubic equation coefficients
m
7.

= DHE mass flow, kg/s

Variable Step Size. This is increase in the value of the selected variable calculated for each
cycle.
A hard copy print of the output can be obtained by pressing "shift" and "print screen"
simultaneously.
The following is a sample input and output for a DHE where the DHE mass flow is varied by
0.5 kg/s (~ 8.2 gpm) for 5 steps.

REFERENCES
Culver, G. G. and G. M. Reistad, "Evaluation and Design of Downhole Heat Exchangers for Direct
Application", final report USERDA contract EY-76-5-06-2429, December 1978.
Pan, He-Song, "Geothermal Downhole Heat Exchangers", a thesis submitted to the Department of

Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand, May 1983.