Energy Pile Simulation – an Application of THM-Modeling
Energy piles, i.e. heat exchangers located within the foundation piles of buildings, are used for heating of cooling purposes. Although the absolute values of deformations and temperature gradients are low or moderate, the entire setting can be influenced by thermo-hydro-mechanical coupling. The fluctuating thermal regime may affect the deformation of pile and surrounding ground as effect of mechanical loading. As the following shows, such process interactions can be investigated by a coupled numerical approach using COMSOL Multiphysics® software. A generic model for a single pile and a homogeneous surrounding is modelled in a 2D model region in an axi-symmetric coordinate system. After a verification of the solid mechanics approach, we modify the model for poroelastic ground.