Bio-inspired porous network topology for optimal injection and withdrawal processes in soils

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Bronchi, arteries and veins, tree branches and roots, all exhibit a fractal topology, i.e., networks formed by channels that successively split into smaller channels. A thorough literature review shows that self-similar topologies justify most empirical power laws encountered in nature and engineering design. Fractal models match but do not explain observations. Is the fractal topology optimal for all transport processes taking place between a porous system and a host medium? According to the constructal theory, the topology of a flow system should optimize an energy potential. The underlying assumption is that any network should have a purpose, a configuration, and constraints. The main theoretical assumptions and developments of the constructal theory are presented. The thermal efficiency of an isolated heat exchanger pile is analyzed for different topologies. Simulations show that slender network components are preferable to isotropic topologies only if the contrast between soil and pile thermal conductivities is between one and two orders of magnitude. The orientation of fragmentation of the heat exchanger should also depend on potential variations of thermal properties across soil layers. The applicability and limitations of the constructal theory to optimize injection and withdrawal processes in soils is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers
Subtitle of host publicationGeo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2014 Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages3969-3976
Number of pages8
Edition234 GSP
ISBN (Print)9780784413272
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2014Feb 26 2014

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number234 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563

Other

Other2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period02/23/1402/26/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Bio-inspired porous network topology for optimal injection and withdrawal processes in soils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this