Energy piles (geothermics)
Reinforced concrete skeleton of an energy pile.
Reinforced concrete skeleton of an energy pile.

Concrete construction components can be used for a lot more than only support structures or architectural elements. Concrete can also be used as a heat collector and a heat conductor. During the past years particularly in Austria concrete construction components were utilised in functional and economically feasible heating and cooling systems. Here the so-called foundation piles are being used for heating purposes. In principle, however, every concrete surface that is in contact with the earth surface can be adapted to serve this purpose. The installation of a heat exchanger can only be effected during the initial construction of a building. Existing concrete surfaces cannot be adapted retrospectively.

The additional costs that arise from utilising the respective construction components as a heat source are relatively low. The economic advantage arises particularly from the fact that only such construction components are used that – for reasons of statics – would be used in any event. Thus, no additional drilling or installation work, as is required for geothermal heat collectors or geothermal probes, is necessary in this case.

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