A new pile foundation system is being developed for renewable energy storage through a multi-disciplinary research project. This system utilizes the compressed air technology to store renewable energy inside the reinforced concrete pile foundation configured with hollowed sections. The compressed air can result in high air pressure to which the structural response of the pile foundation subjected has been studied. However, the temperature in the pile foundation can be affected by the compressed air if sufficient cooling is not provided. The temperature change can generate thermal stresses and affect the structural safety of the pile foundation. As a first step to investigate this thermal effect, this paper studies temperature distributions inside the concrete section for the pile foundation through non-steady state heat transfer analyses. Several parameters were considered in the study, including thermal conductivities of the concrete, specific heat capacities of the concrete, and dimensions of the pile foundation. It has been found that the temperature distribution along the concrete section varies significantly during a daily energy storage cycle as well as subsequent cycles due to the cumulative effect of residual temperatures at the end of each cycle. The temperature distribution is largely affected by the thermal conductivity of the concrete and the geometry of the pile foundation. The obtained temperature distribution can be used for investigation of the thermal stress inside the foundation and surrounding soil.
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