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Heat transfer analysis

TEMP/W is a powerful finite element software product for modeling heat transfer and phase change in porous media. TEMP/W can analyze simple conduction problems to complex surface energy simulations with cyclical freeze-thaw. 

Add TEMP3D to TEMP/W to analyze 3D heat transfer using the same comprehensive set of material models and boundary conditions.

Key Features

Boundary Conditions

TEMP/W and TEMP3D offer a range of boundary condition options, including a rigorous thermosyhpon boundary condition. The convective heat transfer boundary condition allows for simulation of artificial ground freezing or other processes involving the fluid flow over a bounding surface.



Heat transfer is often governed by forced convection in natural hydrogeological systems. TEMP/W can be fully-integrated with SEEP/W or AIR/W to analyze heat transfer via groundwater flow or air flow, respectively. Integration of TEMP3D and SEEP3D is also available.


Material Properties

Thermal functions defining the material properties for saturated-unsaturated soils can be estimated using built-in functions. The rigorous phase change formulation provides an accurate solution to problems involving freeze-thaw of saturated-unsaturated porous media.


Land-Climate Interactions

Analyze problems that involve a coupling between climatic conditions and the thermal response within the ground in TEMP/W using the surface energy balance boundary condition.


TEMP/W and TEMP3D can model almost any geothermal problem

Download GeoStudio to view GSZ files

Freezing Analysis of a Buried Pipeline

TEMP/W is used to model the freezing front propagation around a pipeline. The examples demonstrates the use of circular regions and the application of the appropriate boundary conditions and material properties.

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Surface Energy Balance

This example evaluates the effect of snow on the thermal response within the ground during the winter months, using the surface energy balance boundary condition in TEMP/W to simulate land-climate interactions.

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The objective of this TEMP/W example is to conduct a transient analysis of thermosyphons installed near Fairbanks, Alaska. The model is assumed to have permafrost year round at the base. A heated building rests on the ground surface.

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3D Mine Shaft Freezing

This example demonstrates a procedure for modeling the freeze wall growth for a mine shaft project using freeze pipes installed at equal distances around a mine shaft. Particular attention is given to the three-dimensional heat transfer at the bottom of the freeze wall.

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Read the analysis details

TEMP/W's intuitive modeling workflow

Create an analysis and set up the problem workspace. Choose analysis type, including steady-state or transient, and define initial temperature conditions, convergence criteria, and time duration and increments.

Draw the regions in your domain using CAD-like drawing tools, including drawing polygon and circular regions, coordinate import, copy-paste geometric items, length and angle feedback, region splitting and merging, and direct keyboard entry of coordinates, lengths, and angles. TEMP3D includes a suite of intuitive sketch tools for setting up 3D geometries. Alternatively, import AutoCAD DWG or DXF files directly into GeoStudio to create your domain geometry.

Define the material properties for your analysis, assign them to regions on the domain, and then define your initial temperature conditions. Select from Simplified Thermal, Full Thermal, or Coupled Convective material models. Define thermal material constants or functions for thermal conductivity, volumetric heat capacity, unfrozen water content, and more. Define the initial temperature conditions for transient scenarios using results from other TEMP/W (or TEMP3D) analyses or defined spatial functions.

Define thermal boundary conditions to simulate temperature, heat flux (q), or heat rate (Q). These boundary conditions may all be specified to vary over time for transient analyses. TEMP/W and TEMP3D also have thermosyphon and convective surface boundary conditions. Finally, simulate land climate interactions with the surface energy balance boundary condition available in TEMP/W.

Open Draw Mesh Properties to refine the mesh drawn on the entire domain, or along specific geometric regions, lines or boundaries. Interface elements can also be created to simulate thin insulation layers. For TEMP3D analyses, create the finite element mesh with a single click of a button.

When your problem is completely defined, start the analysis process in the Solve Manager window. The Solve Manager displays the solution progress, allowing you to cancel or stop/restart if necessary. While the solution is in progress, you can look at preliminary results in the Results window.

When the Solver is finished, the temperature contours are displayed, along with the location of the phase-change isoline (or isosurface in TEMP3D) for the time step, and heat flux vectors. You can display other contours using the Draw Contours window, including pore-water pressure, material properties, water flow, and gradients. Contour legends and properties can also be modified. Labels can be added to contour lines in Results View. Flow paths based on energy flow rate vectors can also be drawn in steady-state  TEMP/W analyses.

Interactively select any node or gauss region to view result information, including temperature, thermal flux, material properties, and more. Display plots of computed results over the x- or y-direction or create time-varying plots of results in transient analyses, such as temperature, heat flux, cumulative energy flux and more. Generate reports of the definition and results, and export into other applications such as Microsoft Excel for further analysis.

The power of integration

TEMP/W offers simple but powerful analytical capabilities when used in combination with other GeoStudio products.


Convective Heat Flow

TEMP/W analyses can obtain water fluxes from a SEEP/W analysis to simulate heat transfer via forced convection.

Density-Dependent Flow

In density-dependent fluid flow, the density of the water is dependent on the temperature. The water velocity in turn influences the distribution of heat throughout the domain. Thus, heat and water flow are coupled.  The new multi-physics capabilities in GeoStudio 2018 allow for the simultaneous simulation of heat and water movement associated with density-dependent flow.

Both of these processes can be modeled in three-dimensions by coupling TEMP3D and SEEP3D.

TEMP/W results in AIR/W

TEMP/W can use the air fluxes from AIR/W to model forced-convection heat transfer. TEMP/W can also be integrated with AIR/W to model density-dependent air flow.