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.

The software can be used for geothermal analyses and design of geotechnical, civil, and mining engineering projects, including systems subjected to freezing and thawing temperature changes.

Key Features

Convective Boundary

The convective heat transfer boundary condition simulates artificial ground freezing or other processes involving the flow of fluid over or within a bounding surface.


Forced Convection

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.


Land Climate Interaction

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.


Model Thermosyphons

TEMP/W implements a rigorous thermosyphon boundary condition that can accommodate either two-dimensional or pseudo-3D analysis of thermosyphons. 


TEMP/W can model almost any geothermal problem

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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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Frozen Ground Containment Barrier

This example considers the use of a frozen soil barrier to isolate contaminated water, after McKenziey et al. (2007).

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TEMP/W's intuitive modeling workflow

Create a TEMP/W 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. 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 analyses or defined spatial functions.

Define thermal boundary conditions to simulate temperature, heat flux (q) or heat rate (Q) conditions. Time-varying conditions can also be modeled for each of these boundary conditions. Thermosyphons or convective surfaces can also be modeled as well as the surface energy balance.

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.

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 0°C isoline 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 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.

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.