INSTITUTO DE ESTUDIOS AVANZADOS EN INGENIERIA Y TECNOLOGIA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Geothermal energy in loess
BIDARMAGHZ, ASAL; FRANCISCA, FRANCO M.; NARSILIO, GUILLERMO A.; MAKASIS, NIKOLAS; CARRO PEREZ, MAGALI EVELIN
ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2016 vol. 3 p. 225 - 225
Ground-source heat pump (GSHP) systems efficiently heat and cool buildings by using sustainable geothermal energy accessed by way of ground heat exchangers (GHEs). Loess covers vast parts of the world, about 10% of the landmass; therefore, the use of piles or ?micropiles? is extensive in these areas, particularly where the thickness of loessic soils is significant. These deep foundations have the potential to be used as ?energy piles? in GSHP systems,with a minimal additional cost. This paper presents a case study of a representative real building in Córdoba, Argentina, where foundations are also used as GHEs. The thermal properties of local soils were experimentallymeasured and used in recently developed detailed state-of-the-art finite-element models. Results from the realistic simulations show that the partial substitution of electrical heating and cooling systems with geothermal systemscould significantly reduce energy consumption and the size of associated infrastructure, despite the relatively low thermal conductivity of local loess. Moreover, the effects of surface air temperature fluctuations, which areroutinely ignored in GHE design, are accounted for in these simulations. This case study shows the potential of GSHP technology in loessic environments and gives incentives to engineers to start considering the technology in theirdesigns and practices.