Deep learning based surrogate modeling for thermal plume prediction of groundwater heat pumps

by   Kyle Davis, et al.

The ability for groundwater heat pumps to meet space heating and cooling demands without relying on fossil fuels, has prompted their mass roll out in dense urban environments. In regions with high subsurface groundwater flow rates, the thermal plume generated from a heat pump's injection well can propagate downstream, affecting surrounding users and reducing their heat pump efficiency. To reduce the probability of interference, regulators often rely on simple analytical models or high fidelity groundwater simulations to determine the impact that a heat pump has on the subsurface aquifer and surrounding heat pumps. These are either too inaccurate or too computationally expensive for everyday use. In this work, a surrogate model was developed to provide a quick, high accuracy prediction tool of the thermal plume generated by a heat pump within heterogeneous subsurface aquifers. Three variations of a convolutional neural network were developed that accepts the known groundwater Darcy velocities as discrete two-dimensional inputs and predicts the temperature within the subsurface aquifer around the heat pump. A data set consisting of 800 numerical simulation samples, generated from random permeability fields and pressure boundary conditions, was used to provide pseudo-randomized Darcy velocity fields as input fields and the temperature field solution for training the network. The subsurface temperature field output from the network provides a more realistic temperature field that follows the Darcy velocity streamlines, while being orders of magnitude faster than conventional high fidelity solvers


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