New paper on geothermal energy published

Our latest paper introduces a tabulated tool that aids in the early design of geothermal systems, by providing estimates of the system’s efficiency according to the chosen energy piles field configuration and heat pump sizing.

Direct link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2020.110178

The paper can be downloaded FOR FREE for 50 days at this link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037877882031152X?dgcid=author

Abstract

Geothermal systems are often employed for both the heating and cooling of sustainable constructions. Energy piles (U-shaped heat exchangers inserted into the foundation piles) are widely included in these installations, whose performance is usually estimated by means of complex, time-consuming simulations already at an early design stage.
Here we propose a simple methodology, where a hand calculation tool provides the condenser yield per pile meter, ground area yield and demand covered by the heat pump by specifying only building heat load and geometric characteristics of the energy piles field. Our tool is tested by assuming 20 years of operation in a hall-type commercial building in a cold climate. A validated IDA-ICE parametric study couples the heat pump evaporator operation with heat transfer processes between energy piles and soil. Various system configurations are considered and thermal storage in the soil is included.
We find that the expected yield is not directly proportional to pile separation, while a smaller extraction power is favoured. Thermal storage in the soil is also confirmed to be critical. Besides our specific quantitative results, our practical guideline is qualitatively general and can be extended to any given building type and climate.

Special Issue “Energy Performance and Indoor Climate Analysis in Buildings” available for free download

Our Special Issue with MDPI titled “Energy Performance and Indoor Climate Analysis in Buildings” (18 papers) is available for free download here: https://www.mdpi.com/books/pdfview/book/1828
#Engineering #energy #Sustainability #Science #civilengineering

Sector coupling in urban districts – an opportunity towards decarbonisation

Sector coupling is a concept referring to the electrification of end-use sectors (e.g. heating and transport); it aims at increasing the share of renewable energy (solar, hydro, geothermal, wind, bioenergy, waste heat…) in these sectors.
In practice, this is a strategy “to provide greater flexibility to the energy system so that decarbonisation can be achieved in a more cost-effective way”.

The EU has committed under the Paris Agreement to make an effort to keep the global temperature rise below 2ºC, and the decarbonisation of the energy system can be crucial to this purpose. Sector coupling then becomes a key player for the EU “policy objective of shifting from our current highly centralised and mainly fossil fuel-based energy system to a more decentralised, energy efficient and renewable energy-based energy system”.

The quoted paragraphs are taken from an official European Parliament document on Sector Coupling, which you can find at the link below. I strongly encourage everybody interested in energy systems to read it (especially those who are critical towards the usage of wind and solar energy…yes, they still do exist!).
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/626091/IPOL_STU(2018)626091_EN.pdf


Two conference papers now published

The two conference papers on #energy efficiency in buildings I presented last May at the conference CLIMA 2019, #Bucharest are now published, with open access:

Experimental study of radiator, underfloor, ceiling and air heater systems heat emission performance in TUT nZEB test facility

Annual performance analysis of heat emission in radiator and underfloor heating systems in the European reference room.