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Energies 2017, 10(9), 1315;

Thermal Behaviour under Service Loads of a Thermo-Active Precast Pile

Instituto de Aplicaciones de las Comunicaciones Avanzadas (ITACA), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera S/N, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Laboratorio de Geotecnia (CEDEX) C/Alfonso XII, 3 y 5, 28014 Madrid, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Enthalpy Geothermal Energy)
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A research project was developed in Spain to undertake some studies on the geothermal use of pile foundations (PITERM PROJECT). The experiment consists of a specifically designed, constructed and fully monitored geothermal precast pile driven at Polytechnic University of Valencia. An important distinctive feature of the developed pile was the fact that it was assembled from two identical sections connected with a specific joint, developed by Rodio-Kronsa. This allows the installation of much longer precast piles into the ground. The pile is under two types of loads: mechanical and thermal. The mechanical load was applied by means of a mechanical frame anchored to the ground and three additional anchors used to induce an active compressive force. The thermal load was produced by means of a thermal rig able to inject heat or extract heat from the pile at any desired programable heat injection/extraction rate. One of the features of this precast pile is its geometry, similar to a single U borehole heat exchanger (BHE) which is not common in thermoactive piles, usually equipped with probes attached to the armatures. In our study, we have characterized the thermal behaviour of the precast pile experimentally and simulated its temperature response by means of a TRNSYS model. This article describes part of a test series carried out where the mechanical and thermal behaviour of a pile subjected to thermal and mechanical loads simulating a real pile in a building was studied. Therefore, this publication has only focused on the thermal performance of the pile and its thermal modelling by computer. From this model, the thermal parameters of the soil–pile system have been extracted and compared with those of a single standard single U BHE. In essence, our assessment points to a quite similar thermal behaviour of the studied precast pile compared to a conventional single U borehole heat exchanger of the same length and equivalent diameter, while the installation costs of such elements would be substantially lower due to its double, structural and thermal, function. View Full-Text
Keywords: geothermal energy; thermo-active pile: thermal behaviour; thermal loads; service loads; performance factor geothermal energy; thermo-active pile: thermal behaviour; thermal loads; service loads; performance factor

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Badenes, B.; Magraner, T.; de Santiago, C.; Pardo de Santayana, F.; Urchueguía, J.F. Thermal Behaviour under Service Loads of a Thermo-Active Precast Pile. Energies 2017, 10, 1315.

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