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Response of unsaturated soils to heating of geothermal energy pile

Sani, Abubakar Kawuwa and Singh, Rao Martand (2018) Response of unsaturated soils to heating of geothermal energy pile Renewable Energy.

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Geothermal energy piles (GEPs) are an environmentally friendly heat exchange technology that dualizes the role of structural foundation pile for load support and in meeting the building heating/cooling need. Energy loops made from high-density polyethylene which allow heat carrier fluid circulation, are fitted into the pile foundation elements to extract or inject and store heat energy in the soil surrounding the pile. This paper reports the results of a numerical study investigating the response of an energy pile embedded in unsaturated soils (sand, silt and clay) to natural thermal recovery, after heat injection process. It was found that the increase in soil saturation, duration of heating operation i.e. intermittent (8 or 16 h heating) or continuous mode, magnitude of the heat injection rates influences the temperature changes in the soil surrounding the pile, consequently impacting on the system performance. Similarly, it was observed that temperature at all location approached initial state in a duration equal to about twice that of the heating time. In addition, it was found that imposing excessive heat flux on the pile results in the drying up of the surrounding soil leading to lower thermal conductivity thus decreasing the overall GEP system performance.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Authors :
Sani, Abubakar
Singh, Rao
Date : 19 November 2018
DOI : 10.1016/j.renene.2018.11.032
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Ground heat exchanger; Heat flux; Numerical modelling; Ground thermal recovery; Transient heating process
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 04 Sep 2019 13:15
Last Modified : 04 Sep 2019 13:15

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