Energy piles - a greener option for construction?

It is well-known that concrete is not a very environmentally sound product. However, that could soon change as precast concrete foundation pile manufacturer Centrum Paele A/S is supporting research into energy piles.
Energy piles - a greener option for construction? Energy piles - a greener option for construction? Energy piles - a greener option for construction? Energy piles - a greener option for construction? Energy piles - a greener option for construction?

Heat exchanging energy piles serve a dual purpose

Duncan Moore


Duncan Moore

Centrum Paele A/S is doing all it can to be greener, achieving optimum recycling targets and taking great steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Through research projects and close collaboration with academic institutions, the Danish business Centrum Pæle makes sure its techniques are at the forefront of innovation so that it can offer the most effective, smart and sustainable all-round solutions for its customers' challenges.

After solar energy, geothermal energy the most abundant source of heat on earth and with it found stored in the earth itself is proving to be one of the latest solutions for sustainability. In this case, it is used in conjunction with energy piles, which are equipped with individual or several pipe circuits to enable the exchange of heat with the surrounding soil.

There are two functions with energy piles; the first consists of transferring load from construction into the bearing layer, and the second is the exchange of heat with the soil.

Energy piles are installed either using soil displacement techniques or soil excavation systems. With increasing energy costs and the introduction of greater renewable energy requirements for new buildings, Energy Piles are becoming more and more in demand.

The Danish company, Centrum Paele A/S, is a manufacturer of precast concrete foundation piles. Indeed, its extensive research into Energy Piles is a testament to its ethos as a market leader; inciting innovation as a key factor for reaching cost-effective development and competitiveness, and product development.

On the 10th of September 2018, an industrial PhD enlightening the long-term feasibility and performance of energy piles was presented by Centrum Pæle employee Maria Alberdi-Pagola in Denmark. The PhD thesis Design and performance of energy pile foundations had a duration of three years and was carried out as a collaboration between Centrum Pæle, Aalborg University and VIA University College with Innovationsfonden and INSERO Horsens as financial partners.

The PhD thesis resulted in hitherto unknown knowledge regarding the forecasting process when seeking to install energy piles, the main outcome of the project being the development of a tool which estimates the optimal amount of energy piles needed to obtain maximum performance.

This tool eliminates the risk of depleting the ground heat by stimulating the long-term effect of energy piles in any specific area, thus granting a basis upon which to decide how to alter the dimensions of the energy piles to accommodate the heating and cooling demands of any building.

 n example of a site where energy piles are being installed An example of a site where energy piles are being installed


Another energy pile study is already underway in Denmark in the shape of an EUDP-supported project in the south of Denmark as a broad collaboration between Centrum Pæle and VIA University College among other respected partners.

The scope of the EUDP project is to prove the feasibility of energy piles as a complete standalone district heating and cooling grid in a new sustainable urban area, Ny Rosborg, in Vejle.

Centrum Paele A/S has also produced a video showing how the energy piles work. 

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