EJGE/Magazine (iGEM) Feature


Soil Thermal Conductivity

What is Soil Thermal Conductivity

The thermal conductivity of soils is not a property routinely measured by geotechnical engineers. It is, however, a key parameter governing the behavior of heat exchange facilities utilizing the ground for heat transfer and storage. In designing new facilities or evaluating existing facilities the thermal conductivity of soils is a determining factor. In spite of this dependance, it appears that the current engineering practice of designing facilities such as ground-source heat pump installations, this critical soil parameter is simply estimated from some list of known values.

The purpose of this page is to present to the W3G community what's available about this soil property. It is our hope that this starts an interest among geotechnical engineers who can contribute to this important field.

Web Resources on Soil Conductivity

FIFE Soil Thermal Conductivity Data Set
Documentation of empirical (field) data from FIFE Project.

Geothermal Theory, Geothermal Reservoirs
A comprehensive and attractive Web resource on all aspects of geothermal energy and related phenomena, though somewhat elementary--by Christopher Gronbeck.

Thermal Conductivity of Heterogeneous Materials
by Brian Baltz at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

Thermal Properties of Materials
Thermal conductivity of metals and semiconductors--a good reference for research.

An in situ system for measurment of ground thermal properties
Development of an In Situ System for Measuring Ground Thermal Properties by Jeffrey D. Spitler. Describes a mobile field testing facility.

EPRI Geothermal Heat Pump Publications
A reference list of relevant reports by EPRI

International Ground Source Heat Pump Association

Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium GeoExchange Information Center

Finite Element Analysis - TEMP/W
Geo-Slope's finite element program for thermal heat conduction in the ground.

Geothermal Drilling and Loop Installation
Commercial ground source heat pump installer also offers testing for thermal conductivity.

Pages that fell off the edge of cyberspace while we were working on this!
Relationship of Soil Texture to Thermal Conductivity

Geothermal Register Entries

Soil Thermal Conductivity Data (CEOS IDN datasets)
Another empirical data collection for use in parameter estimations.

Treatment of Soil Thermal and Hydrological Properties
See this page for a simple theory of thermal heat conduction in soil--by Andrew Slater.

Initial preparations for this page are by Dan Hernandez

© Copyright Mete Oner, 1998-99