Speaker: Tugce Baser
Affiliation: University of Alberta

UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering Department


C&EE 200 Section 1 Seminar

Structural, Geotechnical and Civil Engineering Materials

 Storage of Solar Thermal Energy in Geothermal Boreholes Installed in Unsaturated Soils

 Tugce Baser, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta


In the last decade, extensive research has been performed to investigate the thermal response of Borehole Thermal Energy Storage (BTES) systems, an innovative approach to provide heating and cooling of buildings through geothermal boreholes installed in the shallow subsurface. Despite their successful use in practice, high initial upfront costs and low efficiency due to groundwater flow necessitate further research to enhance BTES systems. This involves a better understanding of the effect of heat transfer mechanisms when storing the thermal energy in BTES systems and their implication on community resilience including the limits of extractable heat for design purposes. This study focuses on the coupled thermo-hydraulic response of a BTES system installed in the vadose zone where the soil is unsaturated. Investigation of BTES systems in unsaturated soils requires complex mathematical models that consider coupled heat transfer and water (liquid and vapor) flow and its effect on the thermal properties of soils. This research highlights how the coupled heat transfer and water flow processes and coupled thermo-hydraulic constitutive properties of soils may be exploited to enhance heat injection and heat retention in an array of geothermal borehole heat exchangers. Research questions are explained and addressed with the results from laboratory and field experiments and numerical simulations which can crucially contribute to the sustainable thermal energy strategies and the design. Overall, the results from the numerical simulations and the experiments confirm the good performance of SBTES system in the vadose zone, which supports that considering coupled heat transfer and water flow when simulating the BTES systems is vital.

Where: 4275 Boelter Hall

When: 4:00 – 5:00 PM on Thursday, February 22, 2018

 Dr. Tugce Baser is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental engineering at the University of Alberta, specializing in Geotechnical Engineering. Her research interests include unsaturated soil mechanics, energy geotechnics, trenchless technologies, and sustainability assessment of geotechnical systems. Over the past five years, Dr. Baser has been awarded honors by international institutions and invited as a keynote speaker, has co-authored journal papers and refereed conference articles, and has supervised students. Dr. Baser is a reviewer for international scientific journals in the fields of geotechnical engineering, renewable energy, and heat transfer. She is a member of G-I Unsaturated Soils and Geoenvironmental Engineering technical committees and selected as the young member task force leader in the ISSMGE Energy Geotechnics technical committee. She received her Ph.D. degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of California San Diego in 2017.

Date(s) - Feb 22, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


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