|Definition||An energy tunnel is a tunnel specially equipped to exchange heat with the ground. It takes advantage of the nearly constant temperature of the ground up to approximately 50 m of depth as in standard low enthalpy geothermal applications such as vertical or horizontal borehole heat exchangers (BHE). |
The tunnel lining can be turned into a ground heat exchanger by embedding a circuit of exchanger pipes into the concrete members to form a closed loop and circulating a heat carrier fluid along it. This circuit is called the primary circuit and provides heat to a secondary circuit, that of the user. The connection among them can occur directly, as in the case of free heating and free cooling, or through a heat pump, allowing to vary the temperature to the necessary one. An energy tunnel can be used for heating and cooling of adjacent buildings and infrastructures.
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