Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Interpretation of In Situ and Laboratory Thermal Measurements Resulting in Accurate Thermogeological Characterisation
    (Taylor & Francis, 2012-09) ;
    Growing worldwide interest in the exploitation of geothermal energy resources has led to a scenario where the technology routinely forms part of building-scale renewable energy feasibility studies. A thorough understanding of site-specific thermogeological parameters is a vital design requirement of such systems and accurate measurement and interpretation of these parameters is necessary in order to inform scientifically rigorous system design. An overview of the theory underlying a number of laboratory and in situ thermal characterization testing methods and the results from a number of testing regimes carried out using the various thermal characterization equipment constructed in University College Dublin are presented. Results from both the laboratory steady-state and non-steady-state thermal analysis systems and the in situ thermal characterization system are shown to provide accurate measurements of soil and rock thermal parameters. In addition, the settlement profiles of a number of the tested materials were investigated in order to gain an in-sight into this potential drawback of exchanging the backfill material placed around electricity cables to optimize thermal transfer efficiency.
  • Publication
    Geothermal energy in small countries - laying the foundations for innovative development
    (World Federation of Engineering Organizations, 2011-09-04) ;
    Creation of an environment in which shallow geothermal energy can thrive will require a coherent approach and a high level of collaboration with professionals from countries that have developed technical expertise in the area. Implementation of regulations, standards and guidelines adapted from best practice in countries such as Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, in addition to understanding the mistakes and successes made by these countries, with respect to the development of their geothermal industries, will help small countries such as Ireland to develop a well-regulated market for the technology. This paper outlines and addresses some of the technical, regulatory and certification issues faced particularly by small countries in their efforts to develop a shallow geothermal energy industry, provides examples of best practice with regard to development in countries with established geothermal energy industries and presents proposed solutions to these issues / barriers using the existing situation in Ireland by way of example.
  • Publication
    Geothermal energy : settlement and water chemistry in Cork, Ireland
    (Institution of Engineers, 2011-07) ;
    Detailed analysis of potential water chemistry and settlement issues associated with the installation of open-loop geothermal systems is infrequently carried out. This has led to the failure of several previously installed systems. Chemical analysis of water extracted from beneath the Cork docklands, Ireland has been performed by the authors in order to assess the suitability of the area for the exploitation of open-loop geothermal energy. The possibility of settlement induced by pumping of groundwater for open-loop systems has also been examined. Current market penetration of ground source heat pumps in Ireland is discussed to illustrate the infancy of the technology in Ireland relative to other European countries and to highlight the necessity of approaching the possible installation of such systems with the care required. Water extracted from beneath the docklands shows that significant water chemistry issues exist. Laboratory and field tests confirm that optimal concentration levels of several water chemistry characteristics are significantly exceeded; leading to the conclusion that open-loop exploitation in the area may not be suitable. In addition, settlement induced by pumping of water could potentially lead to a consolidation settlement in excess of 30 mm due primarily to the existence of highly compressible alluvium.
      1413Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Energy Foundations - Potential for Ireland
    (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2011-03) ;
    With one of the highest energy dependencies in the European Union, Ireland must adapt quickly to renewable energy technologies or risk paying the penalty in the form of high energy prices in years to come. Escalating energy costs have led to a renewed interest in alternative energy technologies and ground source energy is one such resource which is being increasingly considered. This paper presents some of the practical considerations of energy foundations, evidenced from the installation of a number of test energy piles. In addition, a preliminary feasibility study of an energy foundation system for a planned university administrative building and an overview of the current status of ground source energy technology in Ireland are presented. Building heating and cooling loads are estimated based on high building energy standards which the university hopes to implement in all building projects going forward. The proposed energy foundation system is shown to have the capacity to provide the heating and cooling base loads for the building
      1369Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    Design and development of a low-cost thermal response rig
    (Institution of Civil Engineers, 2012-08-01) ;
    A thermal response test (TRT) is a controlled insitu test during which a known quantity of heat energy is injected into a closed loop heat-exchanger pipe while the heat dissipation rate into the surrounding ground is monitored. Results from a test can be interpreted to determine a number of ground thermal parameters with are vital design requirements for any medium to large scale ground source energy system. This paper describes the design and construction of a low cost TRT rig and compares the results obtained from a test using the constructed rig and a commercially built rig in order to evaluate the accuracy of the constructed equipment. The TRT rig is designed in accordance with the following principles: keep construction costs low, improve the cost-efficiency of TRT testing by incorporating remote data transmission capability and ensure attainment of sufficient accuracy to satisfy the design requirements of ground source energy systems. Analysis of data collected by the TRT rigs result in a calculated thermal conductivity of 1.9 W/mK in both cases. This value falls within the range expected for the tested geological formation and confirms the accuracy of both test rigs.
      2033Scopus© Citations 5