Engineering chart for thermal performance of cast-in-place energy pile considering thermal resistance

Sangwoo Park, Seokjae Lee, Kwanggeun Oh, Dongku Kim, Hangseok Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


An energy pile is one of the novel types of ground heat exchanger (GHEX), which has been introduced as an economical alternative to conventional closed-loop vertical GHEXs. The energy pile contains heat exchange pipes inside a pile foundation and circulates a working fluid through the pipe inducing heat exchange with the surrounding ground formation. Using the existing foundation structure, the energy pile can reduce the initial construction cost such as drilling and grouting cost, and eliminate the need for additional construction space. However, most commercial design programs and analytical models for estimating the thermal performance of GHEXs are mainly applicable to the closed-loop vertical GHEXs. In this paper, an engineering chart is proposed for evaluating the thermal performance of cast-in-place energy piles considering various layouts of heat exchange pipe. First, parametric studies on different ground and operation conditions were performed with the aid of a series of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analyses to determine design factors of the cast-in-place energy pile. Based on the design factors, the engineering chart for the thermal performance of cast-in-place energy piles was developed. Since the CFD simulations were exclusively carried out for the typical 5-pair-parallel U-type energy pile, the concept of thermal resistance was adopted for estimating the thermal performance of other types of cast-in-place energy piles. The accuracy of the developed engineering chart was verified by comparing with the results of CFD simulations, and the maximum error was measured to be about 9%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-921
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea Government ( NRF-2017R1C1B5017580 ) and by Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No. 20153030111110 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cast-in-place energy pile
  • Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis
  • Engineering chart
  • Geothermal energy
  • Ground heat exchanger (GHEX)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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