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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 119; doi:10.3390/app7020119

Experimental Study and Modelling of the Thermal Conductivity of Sandy Soils of Different Porosities and Water Contents

1
College of Water Resource Science and Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
2
School of Computing, Science & Engineering, University of Salford, Manchester M5 4WT, UK
3
Taiyuan Bilan Hydraulic Engineering Design Co. Ltd., Taiyuan 030024, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefano Invernizzi
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4635 KB, uploaded 25 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

This paper at first reports an experimental work to test the thermal conductivity of formulated sandy soil specimens of different porosities and water contents. Both needle probe and hot-plate methods were conducted and compared. It has been confirmed that the needle probe method has a better accuracy for the measurement of unsaturated soil thermal conductivity, and that the pore size distribution plays an important role on unsaturated soil thermal conductivity. Secondly, it gives out an extensive review on the modelling work, and investigates two major types of empirical models in detail. Two generalized formulas have been suggested to mathematically characterise the two types of models and tested using the experimental data. Finally, in terms of the intrinsic relation to the pore size distribution and the similarity between the thermal conductivity and water retention characteristics of unsaturated soils, a soil water retention model has been suggested and tested to describe unsaturated soil thermal conductivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil thermal conductivity; needle probe method; hot-plate method; porosity; saturation; soil water retention model soil thermal conductivity; needle probe method; hot-plate method; porosity; saturation; soil water retention model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jin, H.; Wang, Y.; Zheng, Q.; Liu, H.; Chadwick, E. Experimental Study and Modelling of the Thermal Conductivity of Sandy Soils of Different Porosities and Water Contents. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 119.

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