Evaluating thermal conductivity of desert sand under different initial physical properties

Abstract: Analyzing the thermal conductivity of soil as a function of other parameters is necessary to understand the flow of heat around earth-to-water heat exchanger. Thermal conductivity depends on several parameters including soil composition, water content, compaction level and porosity. The effect of the above parameters on thermal conductivity was investigated through laboratory studies. Samples were collected at depth of 2 meters below ground level from an area located within the American university of Sharjah Campus. The thermal conductivity of the prepared specimens was measured using C-Therm Technologies analyzer. The results indicate that increasing both the water content and dry density increase the thermal conductivity of the soil. However it was noticed that the initial water has a higher effect on thermal conductivity than the initial dry density. Additionally, it was found that porosity affects the hydraulic conductivity of the sand. Results of this study can be used to further investigate the geothermal potential in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

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