Here you can download the pdf (open access):
I will give the talk next week at the 1st Nordic nZEB+ conference in Trondheim, Norway!
Geothermal energy constitutes an important renewable resource that will become increasingly prominent in future constructions. A common method of extraction and usage consists of installing, inside the foundation piles of buildings, U-shaped heat exchangers called ”energy piles”.
In this paper such installations are addressed by means of a full parametric study, performed for a hall-type commercial building in a cold climate. By computing the transient heat transfer between energy piles and ground for a period of 20 years, guidelines for a preliminary sizing of the geothermal system as a whole are provided. These are valid for this specific building and climate, for a clay-type soil and without assuming thermal storage.
A highly nonlinear behaviour of the expected yield in relation to pile separation and evaporator extraction power is observed. Furthermore, 15m-long piles are found to be more efficient than those with double length, a smaller extraction power seems to be more favourable and differences in the pile diameter have little impact for heat transfer. A geothermal system sizing guide, which is useful for a preliminary quantitative test prior to any installation, is introduced. Even though our specific results are valid only for a commercial hall-type building in Finland, our procedure is qualitatively general and can be utilized for any given building type and climate zone.