Thermal response test and design of an alternative energy pile foundation
Les Fèvres Housing Estate, located in Bulle, Switzerland, is a new district on a former industrial wasteland, directly on the SBB railway line. For this project, GEOEG investigated the feasibility of turning the pile foundation of one of the buildings of this complex project into an energy pile foundation, with the promise to substitute a geothermal borehole field constructed next to the building. In this context, a full-scale energy pile was realized and a thermal response test (TRT) was performed to characterize the thermo-physical properties of the ground and the test energy pile. Based on this characterization, the energy pile foundation was designed via 3-D time-dependent thermo-hydraulic finite element analyses, with due account of the thermal interactions and pipe configurations characterizing the energy piles.
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