Volume 45, N. 1, Special Issue: Thermal Applications in Geotechnical Engineering (Invited Editors: F. Saboya, J.S. McCartney), January-March, 2022 | PDF(63 downloads)
The use of shallow geothermal energy through energy piles for the air-conditioning of buildings is increasing worldwide. This type of renewable energy technology is still not utilized in Brazil, where the hot dominating weather regions and the air cooling demand predominate. In this case of unbalanced heat transfer to the ground, the efficiency of the system may decrease with time due to the excessive heat injection into the soil. In order to investigate the possibility of an efficient application of this technology in São Paulo city, a balanced use of the ground for a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) system utilizing energy piles is evaluated in the present paper. Energy foundations were designed to meet the balanced heating and cooling loads (air conditioning and water heating) of a hypothetical business hotel building located in a site at the campus of the University of São Paulo, where thermal response tests (TRTs) were conducted on different types of energy pile. The number of energy piles required to supply the building thermal loads were estimated using the pile heat exchanger modelling software PILESIM 2.1 and compared with an analytical model prediction. The evaluations were done for three different types of pile tested at the site chosen for this study: micropiles, steel pipe, and continuous flight auger (CFA) piles. The results indicate that the ground heat extraction should be considered for the use of GSHP systems with energy piles in air cooling-dominated scenarios similar to the case studied here.