An energy pile is a type of ground heat exchanger (GHEX) that can reduce the initial construction cost by being installed in the existing foundation structure (i.e., pile). However, despite economic benefits, energy piles have not been globally employed owing to a lack of construction cases and appropriate design methods. Therefore, in this study, a design method applicable to large-diameter cast-in-place energy piles was developed and verified by conducting long-term monitoring on the heating and cooling operation. In addition, to evaluate the applicability of the cast-in-place energy piles, their thermo-mechanical behaviors and economic feasibility were analyzed using the long-term monitoring results. Although degradation of thermal performance and significant changes in the ground temperature were observed in the heating operation, it was concluded that the proposed design method could provide reliable design outcomes. The maximum thermal stress was estimated to be 2.38 MPa during the long-term monitoring, which is approximately 8.5% of the design strength criterion for cast-in-place concrete. Finally, compared with a conventional closed-loop vertical GHEX, the cast-in-place energy piles could reduce the initial investment cost by 25.31%, and the investment payback period was evaluated to be 1.61 years.
- Cast-in-place energy pile
- Ground heat exchanger
- Ground source heat pump system
- Long-term monitoring
- Thermo-mechanical behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment