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Abstract

Thermally induced group effects characterise closely spaced energy piles. It has been observed experimentally that the behaviour of energy piles subjected to mechanical and thermal loads, in which the piles are located sufficiently close to each other, is different from the behaviour of single isolated piles. Therefore, civil engineers encounter new challenges in the geotechnical design of such foundations. This leads to the necessity to develop practical tools to address their analysis and design. The conventional load transfer method is one of the commonly used methods for the analysis of axially loaded conventional piles. Thus, the purpose of this study has been to propose a formulation of the load transfer method to consider the thermally induced effects among energy piles in groups. The soil response is characterized in a lumped form by ascribing the behavioural features of the soil to interface elements. The individual response, in terms of strain and stress of an energy pile in a group, can be addressed for the first time through the application of the displacement factor in the load displacement curve of the single isolated energy pile. A validation through a full-scale field test reveals the capability of the approach to provide the necessary information in the analysis and design phases of the foundation for one-way thermal loads.

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