Characterization of a novel in-ground heat exchanger for applications in sustainable building energy and maintaining permafrost
This thesis investigates the use of a Helical Steel Pile (HSP), as an in-ground heat exchanger for a Ground-Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system. A multi-layered soil conductivity dataset was created to quantify thermal performance across a variety of climate and soil conditions. Geometric features of the HSP were optimized using parametric sweeps, and the capacity of the pile to supply a building load was characterized for a variety of inlet fluid temperatures, seasons, and locations. Transient simulations of the pile characterized its ability to supply three different types of building load sets across a year. Finally, 40-year simulations showed the potential for the HSP to provide heating to buildings in a northern region while also mitigating the thawing of permafrost from climate change. The results indicate a potential to provide sustainable thermal energy to remote communities while delaying the predicted thawing of permafrost locally by up to 75 years.