CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractFor the design of ground-source heat-pump systems, the local subsoil is an invariant factor. To improve the evaluation of the local heat exchange capability, significant efforts recently have been devoted to identifying the ground thermal conductivity vertical profile. In recent years, an innovative method using hybrid optic fiber cables inserted into the ground has been developed. The technique relies on copper wires that thermally stimulate the ground. Optical fibers measure the temperature variation over time all along the cable at a high spatial and temporal resolution. In this work, the hybrid cable was grouted into a 125-m well located in the Po Plain in Northern Italy. The provided core defined the geological environment as a continuous succession of unconsolidated alluvial deposits of very limited thickness, grouped in 15 different granulometric units. Three enhanced thermal response test (ETRT) data sets were acquired in different seasons; for 5 days of heating followed by 5 days of recovery, the soil temperature was recorded continuously along the well, with a spatial resolution of 1 m. A new approach using a multiple linear regression is proposed to analyze the data sets to distinguish the thermal conductivity of each individual granulometric unit. The obtained thermal conductivity values were compared and discussed considering the standard thermal response test outputs and the thermal conductivity data obtained from direct measurements performed on the cores. The analytical method’s reliability stands due to the high repeatability of the obtained results, despite the increased complexity of the treated geological setting.



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