Externally heated geothermal bridge deck: Performance analysis of the U-tube ground heat exchanger Academic Article uri icon


  • In recent years, the geothermal heat pump de-icing system (GHDS) is introduced as a sustainable solution for bridge deck de-icing, which utilizes renewable geothermal energy. Existing GHDS designs mostly rely upon hydronic loops embedded in concrete decks. To extend the GHDS for existing bridges, a new external hydronic deck has been developed recently, which employs a hydronic pipe being attached to the bottom surface of the bridge deck. In this study, the performance of the externally heated geothermal bridge deck is investigated through winter deicing and summer recharging tests with the focus on the ground loop heat exchanger (GLHE), a key component of the GHDS. The test results show that the de-icing system was successful in maintaining the deck surface temperature above freezing in all winter tests. The soil temperature measurements indicate, the 132.5 m vertical U-tube ground heat exchanger is benefited from the undisturbed soil temperature of around 21 C. The overall average hourly heat extraction of 0.67 kW during winter operation and average hourly heat injection of 0.69 kW during the summer operation were observed. Also, the ground thermal recharge test showed the increase of undisturbed soil temperature at 1.5 m from the geothermal borehole by 0.36 C after 50 days of system operation.

published proceedings

  • E3S Web of Conferences

author list (cited authors)

  • Habibzadeh-Bigdarvish, O., Yu, X., & Puppala, A. J.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Habibzadeh-Bigdarvish, Omid||Yu, Xinbao||Puppala, Anand J

editor list (cited editors)

  • McCartney, J. S., & Tomac, I.

publication date

  • November 2020