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Thermal Analysis of Thermoactive Foundations

Excerpt

Thermo-active foundation (TAF) systems offer innovative and sustainable alternatives to ground-source heat pumps and other conventional HVAC systems to heat and cool commercial as well as residential buildings. TAFs have a dual function since they are installed within elements that are already needed for statical, structural, and geotechnical purposes. TAF systems have been reported to be more energy efficient than geothermal borehole ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) since concrete has higher thermal conductivity than most soil types. In addition, TAFs do not require any land availability which is one of the main challenges for conventional geothermal borehole heat pumps especially those using horizontal heat exchange loops.

In this chapter, an overview of thermal analysis of TAFs is presented including integration of TAF models into detailed whole-building simulation tools. Specifically, the impact of design TAF parameters on both building heating and cooling energy end-uses is evaluated. Moreover, the energy efficiency of TAF systems is compared against conventional air conditioning systems for both commercial and residential buildings.

2.1Introduction
2.2Thermal Modeling of TAFs
2.3Building Foundation Heat Transfer
2.4Thermal Response of TAFs
2.5Energy Analysis of Buildings with TAF Systems
2.6Summary and Conclusions
2.7References

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