Laboratory device to analyse the impact of soil properties on electrical and thermal conductivity

Open access

Abstract

Gathering information about soil properties in an efficient way is essential for many soil applications also for very shallow geothermal systems (e.g. collector systems or heat baskets). In the field, electrical resistivity tomogramphy measurements enable non-invasive and extensive analyses regarding the determination of soil properties. For a better understanding of measured electrical resistivity values in relation to soil properties within this study, a laboratory setup was developed. The structure of this laboratory setup is geared to gather electrical resistivity or rather electrical conductivity values which are directly comparable to data measured in the field. Within this setup grain size distribution, moisture content, and bulk density, which are the most important soil parameters affecting the electrical resistivity, can be adjusted. In terms of a better estimation of the geothermal capability of soil, thermal conductivity measurements were also implemented within the laboratory test sequence. The generated data reveals the serious influence of the water content and also provides a huge impact of the bulk density on the electrical as well as on the thermal conductivity. Furthermore, different behaviour patterns of electrical and thermal conductivity in their particular relation to the different soil parameters could be identified.

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International Agrophysics

The Journal of Institute of Agrophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences

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