Durability of geothermal grouting materials considering extreme loads
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The concern about the massive use of the non-renewable and very limited fossil fuels together with the well-known effects of the global warming makes it more necessary the efficient use of the current forms of renewable energy generation. Because of the crucial role played by the grouting materials in the Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP), a proper selection of these elements should be made based on a deep knowledge of their performance. In this paper, thermal conductivity, mechanical strength and grout-pipe permeability of four different highly workable grouts have been tested before and after they were subjected to wet-dry and freeze-thaw durability treatments. Results obtained demonstrated the harmful effects of using a large amount of mixing water in grouts subjected to those extreme loads. However, the use of these type of grouts with very good workability is still possible in GSHP installations with balanced thermal designs provided that regular operational and environment conditions are considered.