Harnessing on site renewable energy through pile foundations

A. Bouazza, R. M. Singh, B. Wang, D. Barry-Macaulay, C. Haberfield, G. Chapman, S. Baycan and Y. Carden

Incorporation of heat exchangers into pile foundations is a relatively novel sustainable technology for the intermittent storage of energy in soils with a view of utilising it for space heating and cooling of buildings by means of suitable systems integrated into buildings. This innovative technology can provide not only substantial long-term cost savings in relation to conventional energy systems but also can make an important contribution to environmental protection by reducing fossil energy use and minimising the carbon footprint of built structures. This paper reports on an ongoing project on heat exchanger pile foundations taking place at Monash University. It discusses the basic concept of an energy pile and governing design parameters such as thermo-mechanical loading and soil thermal properties and presents the field test set up currently running.