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New methods to spatially extend thermal response test assessments

Raymond, Jasmin
Malo, Michel
Lamarche, Louis
Perozzi, Lorenzo
Gloaguen, Erwan
Bégin, Carl
Thermal response tests (TRTs), used to evaluate the subsurface thermal conductivity when designing ground source heat pump systems, are spatially limited to the vicinity of the borehole where a test is carried out. The subsurface is heterogeneous and the thermal conductivity assessment provided by a TRT is likely to vary beyond the tested borehole. New methods have, therefore, been developed to extend subsurface assessments at the building site and the urban district scales. The first method relies on temperature profiles measured at equilibrium in ground heat exchangers that are reproduced with inverse numerical simulations to infer the terrestrial heat flow and the subsurface thermal conductivity beyond a first TRT. Inversion of temperature profiles was verified at a pilot site in the Appalachians where TRTs had been performed and showed a thermal conductivity estimate within less than 10 % for both approaches. The second method is based on geostatistical simulations to map the distribution of the subsurface thermal conductivity in areas where several ground source heat pump installations are anticipated. A first mapping exercise was achieved to the north of Montreal in the St. Lawrence Lowlands with fours TRTs and ten laboratory measurements interpolated with sequential Gaussian simulations.