Full-Scale Demonstration of Combined Ground Source Heating and Sustainable Urban Drainage in Roadbeds

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This paper proposes and demonstrates, in full scale, a novel type of energy geostructure(“the Climate Road”) that combines a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) with a sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) by utilizing the gravel roadbed simultaneously as an energy source and a rainwater retarding basin. The Climate Road measures 50 m × 8 m × 1 m (length, width, depth,respectively) and has 800 m of geothermal piping embedded in the roadbed, serving as the heat collector for a GSHP that supplies a nearby kindergarten with domestic hot water and space heating. Model analysis of operational data from 2018–2021 indicates sustainable annual heat production levels of around 0.6 MWh per meter road, with a COP of 2.9–3.1. The continued infiltration of rainwater into the roadbed increases the amount of extractable heat by an estimated 17% comparedto the case of zero infiltration. Using the developed model for scenario analysis, we find that draining rainwater from three single-family houses and storing 30% of the annual heating consumption in the roadbed increases the predicted extractable energy by 56% compared to zero infiltration with no seasonal energy storage. The Climate Road is capable of supplying three new single-family houses with heating, cooling, and rainwater management year-round
Original languageEnglish
Article number4505
Issue number12
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022


  • construction, environment and energy
  • energy
  • ground-source heat pump
  • sustainable urban drainage system


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