Thermal performance of cemented paste backfill body considering its slurry sedimentary characteristics in underground backfill stopes

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The combined mine backfill–geothermal (CMBG) system can be used to effectively extract geothermal energy by installing a heat exchange tube (HET) in the underground backfilled stopes of mines, which can be used as the heat supply for buildings in mines and the surrounding areas. The efficient performance of this system strongly depends on the thermal exchange process between the HET and its surrounding cemented paste backfill body (CPB). In this study, a validated simulation model is established to investigate the heat exchange performance of CPB, in which the nonuniformly distributed thermal properties in CPB are fully considered. The results indicate that the increase in the porosity has a negative effect on the heat exchange performance of CPB. With the increase in the porosity, the decreased rate of the conductive heat transfer in CPB could be up to approximately 18%. In conditions with seepage flow, the heat transfer capacity of CPB could be effectively improved. Generally, a higher hydraulic conductivity corresponds to a higher heat transfer performance of CPB. When the seepage velocity rose from 2 × 10−6 to 6 × 10−6 m/s, the thermal conductivity of CPB achieved a 114% increase from 1.843 to 3.957 W/(m∙K). Furthermore, it was found that the thermal energy accumulates along the seepage flow direction, enhancing the thermal influencing radius of the HET in this direction. Thus, the arrangement of HETs should fully take into account the seepage flow effect. This proposed simulation model could provide a reference for parameter determination and optimization of CMBG systems.

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National Natural Science Foundation of China



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