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Constructive recommendations for optimized and reliable heat exchanger pile systems



Constructive recommendations for optimized and reliable heat exchanger pile systems

Involved persons: Prof. Dr. Lyesse Laloui, Alice Di Donna



The surface of the Earth contains a great potential of thermal energy that can be used for heating and cooling residential, office and commercial buildings at low additional cost, through the installation of energy geostructures. The originality of these structures is to combine fundaments, necessary for supporting the building, with the heat exchanger system, able to extract heat from the ground during winter and expel it during summer. Although these technologies are already installed in many places around the world, for years their dimensioning has been based on empirical considerations and the understanding of their thermo-mechanical behaviour is still limited. The aim of this project is to gain inside the behaviour of energy geostructures and their interaction with the surrounding soil, in order to end up with appropriate design procedure for engineers.



We developed a new geotechnical design method, based on the load transfer method, and implemented it into a software called Thermopile able to determine the extra stresses and displacements that come from the temperature variations in a heat exchanger foundation pile.

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