Volume 8, Issue 2, January 2014
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Outcomes From International Workshop on Thermoactive Geotechnical Systems for Near-Surface Geothermal Energy: From Research to Practice
Olgun, C. G. & McCartney, J. S.
This paper summarizes the main outcomes of an NSF sponsored workshop focused on thermoactive geotechnical systems for near surface geothermal energy. A group of 55 researchers from around the world gathered in March 2013 for a 3 day workshop in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss the current status of the linkages between geotechnical engineering and near surface geothermal energy. This paper provides a summary of the state of the art in characterization of materials in thermally active geotechnical systems, as well as our understanding of the thermal and thermomechanical behavior of these systems. The paper also includes a review of available thermal and thermomechanical design methods, along with associated lessons learned from implementation of thermally active systems. A discussion of the emerging technologies at the interface between geotechnical engineering and near surface geothermal energy indicates that there are many opportunities to transfer knowledge between different fields. A list of current challenges and the associated research agenda for the future identified during the workshop indicates that many important challenges have been overcome but there are still important issues that need to be solved.
geothermal energy, deep foundations, thermal response, soil-structure interaction