Influence of geometry on the thermal performance of water pit seasonal heat storages for solar district heating

Yakai Bai, Ming Yang, Jianhua Fan, Xiaoxia Li, Longfei Chen, Guofeng Yuan, Zhifeng Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The aim of the study is to investigate the influence of geometry on the thermal capacity and stratifications of a water pit heat storage for solar district heating. A TRNSYS component model for a truncated cone water pit was developed based on the coordinate transformation method and validated by experimental results from the water pit heat storage in Huangdicheng in 2018. The thermal performance of 26 water pits with different heights and side wall slopes was calculated for 10 consecutive years. It takes four to six years for the water pit to reach steady-state operation. The operation data from the tenth year was selected to evaluate the thermal performance of each configuration. The results show that because of the thermal insulation on top of the water pit, the height to diameter ratio of a water pit with minimum annual heat loss was always smaller than 1.0. The annual storage efficiency of a water pit increases with side wall slope due to the reduced side wall area. There is an almost linear increase in the thermal stratification number of a water pit with height. With an increase in the height, thermal stratification in water pits with a steeper slope increased more gradually than water pits with a lower slope. The findings in this paper are relevant for the design optimization of water pits as seasonal thermal energy storages.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBuilding Simulation
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Water pit
    • Seasonal heat storage
    • Truncated cone
    • Storage capacity
    • Thermal stratification
    • Coordinate transformation


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