What is a thermally enhanced backfilling material (TEBM)?
One of the key challenges of ITER Project is to create thermally enhanced backfilling material (TEBM) suitable for horizontal collectors. The idea is improving the heat transfer of the ground surrounding the pipes used in very shallow geothermal systems (VSGS).
Since the VSGS performance depends on the soil locally available, a better understanding of how its thermal properties change is crucial. In this regard, several factors act on the thermal behavior of soils, mostly the grain size and the water content. For example, when the soil moisture content increases, the heat conductivity remarkably improves (ThermoMap Project).
So, what we would like to do?
Adding different amounts of natural additives (i.e. clay) to different kind of soils (i.e. sand), we obtain several mixtures, called TEBM. We want to test these environmental friendly mixtures in laboratory, under different pressure and water content conditions. Moreover, we want to check their thermal behavior on a test field to verify their performances under different climatic conditions.