Explicit Multipole Formulas for Calculating Thermal Resistance of Single U-Tube Ground Heat Exchangers
Journal article, 2018

Borehole thermal resistance is both an important design parameter and a key performance characteristic of a ground heat exchanger. Another quantity that is particularly important for ground heat exchangers is the internal thermal resistance between the heat exchanger pipes. Both these resistances can be calculated to a high degree of accuracy by means of the well-known multipole method. However, the multipole method has a fairly intricate mathematical algorithm and is thus not trivial to implement. Consequently, there is considerable interest in developing explicit formulas for calculating borehole resistances. This paper presents derivation and solutions of newly derived second-order and higher-order multipole formulas for calculating borehole thermal resistance and total internal thermal resistance of single U-tube ground heat exchangers. A new and simple form of the first-order multipole formula is also presented. The accuracy of the presented formulas is established by comparing them to the original multipole method. The superiority of the new higher-order multipole formulas over the existing formulas is also demonstrated.


borehole thermal resistance

multipole method


internal thermal resistance



ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems


Johan Claesson

Lund University

Saqib Javed

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering


1996-1073 (ISSN) 19961073 (eISSN)

Vol. 11 1 214

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering

Building Technologies



More information

Latest update