The cooling and heating potential of an earth tube system in buildings

Kwang Ho Lee, Richard K. Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new module was developed for and implemented in the EnergyPlus program for the simulation of earth tubes. The model was validated against and showed good agreement with both theoretical and experimental data. Using the new module, a parametric analysis was carried out to investigate the effect of pipe radius, pipe length, air flow rate and pipe depth on the overall performance of the earth tube under various conditions during cooling season. Pipe length and pipe depth turned out to affect the overall cooling rate of the earth tube, while pipe radius and air flow rate mainly affect earth tube inlet temperature. The cooling and heating potential of earth tubes in four different locations were also investigated. Whether or not an earth tube is beneficial turned out to be heavily dependent on the climate of the location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-494
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Cooling and heating potential
  • Earth tube
  • EnergyPlus
  • Parametric analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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