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A Coupled Analysis of Heat and Moisture Transfer in Soils

E. Evgin, J. Infante Sedano, and Z. Fu
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON

This paper is a part of a study on energy piles for heating and cooling of buildings. Energy piles are used for two reasons: (1) to transfer structural loads to foundation soils, and (2) to transfer heat from foundation soils to the building for space heating in winter time and for cooling purposes in summer time by transferring heat from the building to the foundation soils. The efficiency of energy piles depends on their dimensions and the heat and moisture transfer characteristics of the soils and pile materials.

COMSOL is used to simulate the heat and moisture transfer in the soil column of the experimental investigation. Subsequently, the finite element analysis is extended to the analysis of an energy pile in conditions of variable soil moisture content.